In a unanimous decision at the July 24th SAMLARC Board of Directors Meeting, the Board approved measures to reduce the Lake’s aquatic midge fly population and reinvigorate the Lakeside ecosystem. In addition to introducing fathead minnows into the Lake, SAMLARC is creating an environment that attracts another natural predator of the aquatic midge fly: the tree swallow. The tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) is a lovely blue and white bird – with a voracious appetite for midge flies. One tree swallow family can consume hundreds of thousands of insects each year, significantly decreasing the midge fly population. In fact, the Orange County Water District posits that tree swallows are “at least as effective as the historic use of pesticides.” This is a long-term approach; while there may not be immediate relief, facilitating a tree swallow population will naturally enhance the Lake’s ecosystem – and cut down on the aquatic midge fly population. Ten tree swallow boxes have been installed in the mature trees around the Lake. Keep an eye out for these rectangular boxes in the sycamores, eucalyptuses, and alders near the Lake. Their pale green or light blue colors may make them difficult to spot at first – but they’re the perfect canvas to showcase SAMLARC’s artistic community!