Flood Warning: When rivers will crest and how high the water will get

Mussel relocation project falls behind schedule

MOLINE, Illinois - The project to relocate half a million mussels is behind schedule. Right now they're sitting in the Mississippi River where the new I-74 bridge will go. Crews were hoping to be done by October.

Time seems to be on your side, especially when you're dealing with the Mississippi River. So when you're trying to relocate half a million mussels, things sometimes go at a mussel pace.

Recent high river water can make for a dangerous situation for divers.

"It's a long tedious process. It's just that those divers have to go down there, dig through all the rock and the trees and everything else to try to find the animals," said Heidi Dunn, from Ecological Specialists, Inc.

Not to mention the mussels themselves can be complicated. Crews have already relocated more than 70,000 mussels and they're only halfway through.

Before they can be moved, they have to be marked, sorted, and looked over to see what species the mussel falls in. There's 29 species, including three that are considered an endangered species.

While some might think it's a lot of work just for some mussels, crews will tell you it's worth it.

"One muscle will basically filter up to five gallons a day, so of those 70,000 muscles that 350,000 gallons of water that have been filter every single day by them," said Kraig McPeek, from Fish and Wildlife Services.

Fish and Wildlife Services plan to bring in more divers next week so they catch more mussels at a time. They say they'll keep working until the water temperature becomes too cold to work.