Stick your toe in the rushing waters of the Current River near Big Spring, Mo. It’s blue because of the phosphates in the water and it’s cold.
The smallmouth bass living there like the cold. They need the cold to survive, but it’s not as cold as it was fifty years ago.
The change in temperature, from about 55 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit, might seem insignificant to humans but for at least one bass it’s enough to inspire a trek to Alley Spring. It took the bass, which was tagged so conservation agents could identify it later, four months to swim the nearly 50 miles.
“It’s important because of the impact on the rest of the ecosystem,” said Faye Walmsley, who works with the National Parks Service in Van Buren. “Everything out here’s connected, so we could see other animals leaving soon too.”
Edited by Zachary Matson.