Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fish fly season is officially here


Is it just me, or are the fish flies migrating further inland than usual this year?

Don’t get me wrong, as a Macomb County denizen I’ve gotten used to the fact that they rule the world for a solid two weeks in early summer – but this season things seem to be slightly different.

Anyone that has lived in the area for any extended period of time knows what fish fly season really is: annoying.

For a several week period, the short-lives nuisances coat area road ways and flock to area street lights creating a smelly and disturbing environment.

For years, I lived out on Jefferson in New Baltimore. Despite safety factors, the manager of our apartment complex actually would turn off outdoor lights for the duration of their migration – merely because no one could actually make it in the building if they were on.

The bugs actually would completely coat the doors and walkways to the buildings – making it virtually impossible to navigate through them. Thankfully, they’re merely gross and they don’t bite.

Fish flies, or mayflies, do serve a purpose – and I would be remiss not to point that out. They’re a significant food source for fish on area waterways. They’re still gross. And they still smell. However, they are important to the health of Lake St. Clair. I guess it’s a trade off.

Since I moved to Roseville several years ago, fish flies haven’t really been a concern for me. I don’t live near any large body of water, so they don’t descend en masse at 12 Mile and Gratiot like they do near area waterways.

Last night, though, I made a disturbing discovery. They’re migrating further inland. I swear they are. I’m not just imagining it – no matter what my co-workers say.

I had to stop at the Meijer at Little Mack and 13 Mile on my way home to pick up a few items, and I swear the parking lot was something out of horror film. Not only were the little buggers flitting under the parking lamps by the million, but they were also so thick on the pavement that I actually slid in my flip flops.

When I left the store around 10:45 p.m., people were actually running from the building and trying to make it to their cars (which were also coated with bugs). Unfortunately, the slippery ground made the short trek difficult.

I decided to stop for gas on the way home – but when I pulled up to the station it looked like there was a bug carpet where my car was supposed to be. I wisely decided to put off getting gas until this morning – even though it meant leaving 15 minutes earlier for work.

Still, when I pulled up to a gas station near my home in the 12 and Gratiot area, I was still inundated with fish flies. Thanks to their short life cycle, most of them were dead on the ground (making that disturbing “popping” noise when you step on them). It’s still gross, though.

I expect this thing on Jefferson – and even on North River Road and other areas close to the Clinton River. I don’t expect it on Gratiot, though.

We had an exceptionally mild winter and an unusually warm spring, and that means that the fish flies essentially hatched early.

I can only hope this means that they’ll be gone earlier than usual, too.

What do you think? Are the fish flies thicker than usual? Or, am I imagining things?

1 Comments:

Blogger Michelle Karl said...

Oh my!! I happened to go to Kroger on 13 & Gratiot and seen the sworm! I'd never seen this before and it freaked me out. I thought we were being attacked by locusts when I saw the massive sworm! They are gross and I am scarred for life ;- /

June 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM 

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