INSECTS STILL FEEDING FISH
EVEN IN COLD WEATHER
Whenever we use the word wildlife, theres
undoubtedly the assumption that were referring to mammals,
birds, fish and reptiles. However, the largest group of living
creatures in the world, insects, falls under the generic term
wildlife as well.
winters snow covers the ground, about the last thing youd
expect to see are insects. There is, however, a pair of invertebrates
that can be abundant in the wintertime when the conditions are
just right. Midges, or snow flies, are well known to trout fishermen.
These tiny gnat-like insects will often hatch in great numbers
in slow moving streams on sunny days. When the midges have hatched,
trout and whitefish become very active, feeding on both emerging
nymphs and adults.
Another common winter insect is the mysterious snow
flea. On clear, sunny days, you might see these tiny black specks
on banks of snow. On bright days, their bodies absorb enough sunlight
to stay active, but once night hits they lie frozen until the
Snow fleas belong to a primitive group of insects
called springtails, so named because of a spring-like appendage
on their abdomens which snaps downward to hurl the insect distances
of up to a foot away. Snow fleas come closer than any other insect
to being universal, because theyre found on every temperate
continent, as well as in the Arctic and Antarctic.
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