Mayfly invasion! It’s a good thing?

by Marianne Gasaway

Clear Project Coordinator Jim Sholly freely admits he’s “an oddball.”  He likes Mayflies

Right now, he might be the only one.

Mayflies, also known as “midges,” have invaded Clear Lake.  They are plastered on houses.  They splatter on cars like tiny rounds of buckshot. They are visible swarms in the air and seem to have a strange magnetic attraction to people.   They litter the ground when their short lives come to an end, blowing into visible drifts like the fallout of a January blizzard.   In short, they are annoying.  Harmless, but annoying.

But not to Sholly.

“It’s a great thing— a positive sign that our lake is clean,” he explained.  “I know I’m the oddball here, but I know their life history.  This species is one of the first to die when lakes or streams are polluted.  When there is sediment, pollution, acidity and toxins come

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