DETROIT, June 18 (UPI) — A wildlife refuge manager in the Detroit area said the early mayfly season, which brought a high population of the bugs to the region, is a good sign for water.
John Hartig, who manages the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge along the Detroit River, said the rapidly-breeding insects, which live for only a few hours and usually only begin showing up in Metro Detroit in mid-June, could be a sign of low pollution levels in the area’s waters, The Detroit News reported Friday.
He said the insects, also known as fishflies, are also a boon for the local underwater population.
“They’re a good food source for all kinds of fish, including the yellow perch,” Hartig said. “When the mayfly population began making a comeback on the Detroit River a few years ago, we began seeing improvement in the yellow perch population as well.”
The National Weather Service said swarms of the insects sometimes grow so large they can be seen on radar over Lake St. Clair.
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