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Midge attack fails to disrupt WRFT fieldworkers

Posted: Tuesday 19 August, 2008 @ 11:30:55

Garry Bulmer and David Mullaney record electro-fishing catch details by the Little Gruinard River.

The WRFT electro-fishing team was treated to one of the most impressive midge attacks witnessed in recent years whilst carrying out field work on the 15th August by the Little Gruinard River. The onslaught took place following a heavy shower, after a period of several weeks without rain. The still, muggy conditions brought the midges out in numbers not seen by the WRFT Biologist before in six years of surveying. As always, field staff were well equiped with midge hoods and were able to complete their scheduled survey of a series of sites as planned in otherwise ideal 'low water' conditions. Salmon fry and parr were recorded at relatively high CPUE [Catch Per Unit Effort] indicative of a healthy population.

The hatch of midges may have been triggered by the rainfall. There may also be fewer small frogs this year following the drought in May - June, and a lack of cover / nesting places for midge-eating birds in the area. Unfortunately Culicoides midges lay their eggs in damp ground rather than in the water so hungry juvenile salmon are unable to eat them. For more information on midges please click here.