CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Thursday morning, on the way to their cars, Northeast Ohioans who live close to the lake saw their first midges of the spring season.
In the days to come, more and more of them will come up from the bottom of the lake, which is warming up, hatch and take flight.
“Yes, they are creatures of the deep, but I don’t think they are creepy at all!" said Dr. Gavin Svenson with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
The goal of the midge is to live long enough to mate. They thrive by the theory of, “safety in numbers.”
“The Great Lakes are famous for them,” Svenson said.
“They form clouds over the lake and shore and feed countless fish, bats, birds, predatory insects and amphibians. They are true survivors and are good for the health of the region. Mayflies are cool, but midges dominate.”
The reasons we see hatches in both the spring and the fall has a lot to do with the temperature of the lake.
When Lake Erie temperatures get to between 60 and 70 degrees, it is the signal midges need that it’s time to hatch and come to the surface to mate.
The midges that have surfaced already are a little early, because according to the National Weather Service the water temperature off Toledo is 54 degrees, off Cleveland 51.