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Mayflies Are Dangerous!


Glenn Reed

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There's a bridge over the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania that is having a major problem with mayflies. To the point where the bridge gets very slick and has caused three motorcycle accidents recently. The bridge was even closed for a while this past Saturday night.

 

Maybe our own Oopezoo will do an on site report, as he lives in the town on the western end of the bridge?

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La Crosse, Wisconsin which is on the Mississippi River not far from this year's Un headquarters has has its share of problems with mayflies. Most years they are a nuisance, but the worst case came about a while back when the hatch was so extreme that the bridge was closed, snowplows and sanding trucks were called to help clear the mess and get the surface to the point that traffic could cross.

 

In more recent years the swarms have been so big that they are caught on weather radar.

 

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sebjones906

I ran into the same problem with butterflies, in the Sierra Nevada's, up above Angels Camp. Now, they weren't that thick but I was concerned that the road was slick and about the birds that were darting at them. It was very unusual and I was very slow coming off the mountain.

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Yeah.....walking distance from my house. I've never seen anything like it. Last year was bad, this year is just rediculous. I crossed the bridge on Sunday afternoon and here is what was left......they were piled up like this at every light tower.

 

8454C01C-353B-456E-97EF-A1EA9F629F1A_zps23puacxb.jpg

 

85E9A032-6354-441B-B9ED-3482F72D3D6C_zpsyijt1qzw.jpg

That last pile is legitimately mid thigh deep.......and I'm 6'2". I can't even describe the smell. It's seriously gross.

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Anyone remember the scene from the original Cannonball movie with Lapchik,the bike rider,when he encountered the bug hatch?

 

Had a similar evening encounter near the John Day,OR fossil beds years ago,had to stop several times within a few miles to try and clean the shield enough to see,finally able to ride out of it.

 

JR356

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I can't even describe the smell. It's seriously gross.

 

Keith... please go on. Can they be used as bait?

:lurk:

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They can't be used as bait per se, they are too thin and frail.......BUT, this time of year is awesome fishing in the river. We used to go down there with our fly rods at night and catch 20-30 fish per hour. They would hit just about anything that hits the surface of the water. Mostly small mouth bass, walleye, and catfish. It's pretty crazy having a couple pound catfish hitting top water flies and then fighting it in on a fly rod. Lotsa fun, but I haven't fished in years.

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I thought it was interesting that the article said one of the main causes of the recent severity at this bridge, is the replacement of modern, very tall light stanchions, with much more historically correct, shorter, Art Deco lights.

 

I'm guessing that when the taller lights were in use, the same phenomenon took place, but the deceased mayflies had farther to fall, and the wind that comes down the river took their carcasses away from the bridge. Now that the mayflies are completing their mating not far above the bridge, they just fall straight to the road and sidewalk surface.

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I recently read an article in the morning paper about how a warmer world means a lot more insects. Guess that's good if you are a fish.

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And this is what it looks like after you've ridden through a swarm.... note, this was post several hard rain storms!

 

 

P1220068.jpg

 

 

My bike at the finish of the 2011 IBR :)

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OMG! What happens when you wash it as in does the paint stay on? And I thought the yellow jackets were bad in Eastern Oregon. :P

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OMG! What happens when you wash it as in does the paint stay on? And I thought the yellow jackets were bad in Eastern Oregon. :P

 

IT comes off, eventually, but the smell.... lawdy the smell :P

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At least you don't have to stop to get a snack.

Raise the visor...

 

... yes, it's a quick infusion of protein (just ask a trout), but be sure to have at lease one eye closed when the visor is up and your sucking in tiny snacks like a Baleen whale!

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What a great IBR advantage! :-)

 

As long as the "assistance" doesn't result in causing a rider to change her route, you're good to go :thumbsup:

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Bill_Walker
It all depends on whether you believe or not.

 

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil DeGrasse Tyson

 

Of course, that's actually a bad thing in the case of climate change.

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Riding around Eagle Nest lake in New Mexico one evening a few years ago, there was a huge caddis hatch, couldn't see squat until I got down the canyon toward Cimmaron. Scary

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I think shoveling (with snow shovels) mayflies in Toledo,OH is a yearly event. I witnessed it once. Yeah. Nasty after a day in the sun.

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Guest Kakugo
I think shoveling (with snow shovels) mayflies in Toledo,OH is a yearly event. I witnessed it once. Yeah. Nasty after a day in the sun.

 

When I was a boy, we used to that with mating ants. Every single year. ;)

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Its hard to describe the smell of the rotting piles of these things. Kinda smells like the docks with a bunch of rotting fish sitting around. I rode to the hardware store last weekend to pick up a few things and just about barfed in my helmet when I turned onto the bridge. Thankfully, the piles are gone now. They came and cleaned them up. As a proactive measure, they also started turning the bridge lights off at 9:00pm every night.

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Guest Kakugo
Its hard to describe the smell of the rotting piles of these things. Kinda smells like the docks with a bunch of rotting fish sitting around. I rode to the hardware store last weekend to pick up a few things and just about barfed in my helmet when I turned onto the bridge. Thankfully, the piles are gone now. They came and cleaned them up. As a proactive measure, they also started turning the bridge lights off at 9:00pm every night.

 

I know what you are talking about.

I once volunteered to clean a pond where fish had died off due some genius throwing freshly cut grass in it: carps had feasted on it until they literally burst open.

Of course, given the unpleasant nature of the task all other volunteers had melted away faster than you can say "Fish!" so I toiled alone for hours, dragging out 10+kg rapidly rotting carps and throwing them on a tractor trailer. Then I drove said tractor to an open pit I had dug before near a manure pile (this was before present health and safety measures came into being) and covered them with a lot of earth. Understandably the road was completely clear with not a soul in sight on my way to the pit. ;)

Funnily enough the worst part of the job was not dragging the fish out but cleaning tractor and trailer afterwards. The smell simply defied belief. We had a high temperature pressure washer and even that thing struggled to get the oily, smelly residue from the trailer.

And I won't surprise you when I say I couldn't hit the shower fast enough that day.

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