Aquatic Midge Flies around the Lake: August Update


​SAMLARC recognizes that the density of aquatic midge fly population poses a hindrance to Lakeside visitors and residents, marring the serenity of the Lake during the early morning and evening hours. Though complete eradication of the aquatic midge flies is not possible, SAMLARC has implemented the most ecologically responsible methods of midge fly mitigation. ​ Though the aquatic midge flies are an unfortunate nuisance, there are a few positive facts to keep in mind. Aquatic midge flies do not bite or carry diseases. The lifespan of an adult midge fly lasts between 3-5 days and their reproductive season typically comes to an end in the fall. ​ SAMLARC has implemented environmentally-sensitive long-term solutions aimed at returning fish to the Lake, which in turn will help manage the aquatic midge fly population. Over 5,000 hardy fish were introduced into the Lake: mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas), which have been spotted happily feeding on midge fly larvae ever since their introduction in July 2018. Additionally, fifteen tree swallow boxes have been installed in the trees around the Lake to attract tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), which feed on adult midge flies. We anticipate that we will see a thriving tree swallow community develop in the spring. ​ As a large-scale project, commencement of the Lake Ecosystem Repair Project will dilute the nutrients in the Lake water, upon which midge larvae feed. In addition to this project, the Board will consider a short-term, supplementary treatment plan at the August 28th Board to span the last few weeks of the midge fly season. The proposed treatment plan includes measures to rapidly increase water clarity, reduce the presence of algae, and inhibit midge fly larval maturation. If approved, this treatment plan would begin in September, implemented by Lake Management, Inc., SAMLARC’s new Lake management vendor. According to Dave Glenn, owner of Lake Management, this treatment plan does not pose a threat to the Lake’s wildlife, and will help to arrest the growth of the midge fly population. The proposed treatment will take up to three weeks to be fully effective, and will last thirty days or more, which will stretch beyond the projected midge fly season. We recognize that these projects will take time to produce results, and thank you for your patience as we work to implement ecologically friendly, effective mitigation strategies. ​ The following recommendations may assist Lake visitors in diminishing their interactions with the aquatic midge flies until the cessation of the flies’ reproductive season, which should begin late next month. ​ Timing: Midge flies are attracted to cool, shady areas during the day, and bright lights in the evening. Consider adjusting the timing of Lake visits to avoid interacting with large numbers of flying adults. ​ Lakeside Property: If your property borders the Lake, temporary relief from infestations is possible by periodically washing down surfaces with a garden hose and high-pressure nozzle. As the midge flies are attracted to lights in the evening, consider closing window shades and directing outdoor