(KMOV)-- News 4 continues to dig into how the government is spending your tax dollars. After sorting through dozens of stimulus projects we discovered one in Dallas County Missouri that was unlike any project on the list.
The Missouri Department of Conservation requested 5 million dollars to reconstruct 32 low water bridges to help fish spawn. The Department of Conservation was only awarded 144 thousand dollars, enough to replace one low water bridge. According to Craig Fuller, a fisheries management biologist, the Niangua Darter is an endangered fish that only lives in 13 Missouri counties. Fuller says, "if we can save them we are doing good things for the environment."
After driving to Windyville, Missouri we saw the problem for ourselves. The low water bridges create a swift current that makes it impossible for the tiny Niangua Darter to swim upstream for spawning. The construction of a new bridge will eliminate that problem, Fuller says it will also improve stream function and water quality.
In addition to helping the fish, Fuller says it will actually benefit humans as well. The Niangua River is a popular place for floating, the new bridge will allow canoes to pass underneath.