Working out the bugs: Colorado River researchers work to increase bug populations to fatten up fish

Arizona Water News


From the perspective of humans, the experiment being conducted now on the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam may not seem like the best use of a scientist’s time.

If all goes well, for example, the experiment should prompt a noticeable increase in the populations of black flies and midges. Hopefully by as much as 26 percent.

Endangered humpback chub in the Grand Canyon rely on aquatic insects as a primary food source. ©Freshwaters Illustrated 

And, if things go really well, the experiment even might prompt the return of bigger bugs that had all but disappeared from the area –creatures like caddisflies and mayflies. The sort of buzzing, circling, flying annoyances that help make a hot day in the out-of-doors memorable. Although not in the best of ways.

From the perspective of fish living in the region, on the other hand, the “Experimental Macroinvertebrate Production Flow” project –…

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