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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Rainham, Kent

    Default The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    West Coast of Scotland

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    Very interesting reading
    James Murray

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    North East Wales
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    This is all very interesting but I'm struggling to see how an increase in average water temperature of just 1 degree C can make the mayfly nymphal phase of the life cycle suddenly reduce from two years to one. In a spring fed river like the Dove the temperature is fairly constant so you can't really factor in higher peaks that comprise the average.

    I think that scientists have got a lot about the mayfly wrong. The main thing is the theory that they live 24 hours as an adult because on that basis it's hard to explain the huge falls of spent that you sometimes see on the Irish lakes days after the last big hatch of drakes, especially when the weather has not been conducive to egg laying.

    I spoke to Stuart Croft about this and he was certain that despite having no mouthparts the mayfly is able to absorb moisture through its body and stay alive for several days waiting for good conditions to return and lay eggs. The larger size of the danica might make this easier than for smaller ephemerids which are perhaps what we should be worrying about.
    “There is no more lovely country than Monmouthshire in early spring. Nowhere do the larks sing quite so passionately, as if somehow inspired by the Welsh themselves. There is a blackbird on every thorn and a cock chaffinch, a twink as they call him there, on every bush...... It moved me profoundly. I had been spared to see another spring, and I thank God for it.”

    Oliver Kite
    “A Spring Day on the Usk”
    A Fisherman’s Diary

  4. #4

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    Thank you for that link it's gone in the mix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    Worth it just for the picture:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    Back in the 1970's a new fishery was created and they called it Damerham. One of the first purpose-built small stillwater fisheries for the day ticket angler.

    The odd thing was, the year after it was dug there was a mayfly hatch on the lakes.

    Mayflies have always been a bit variable. 1-3 years was considered the norm for a nymph to be in the river before hatching.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    Back in the day I fished Damerham too. As I remember some lakes were spring fed but there was also a small stream which may explain a resident population of mayflies. The area around Damerham was also very wet with a high water table.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    There are, of course, many different species of mayfly around the world and all have different lifespans.
    As a youngster I kept many different aquatic insects in aquaria in my bedroom including mayflies.
    March browns would be hanging around the room for days, Danica were variable depending on where I got them but usually 2-3 days before being found dead, usually in the window bottom.
    There was no central heating but at least it didn't freeze in there.

    If you want a fright or want to creep out your sisters keep caddis larvae and wait till they hatch in the middle of the night.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    We certainly have both 1 and 2 year danica on the Monnow and I can certainly see the benefit of spreading the breeding success risk over two years.
    Trout fishermen revere the trout; trout, on the other hand, unaware of their sublime standing in man's world, revere nothing, including man, a creature they seem to view with special contempt. Nihilism is a rare trait in fish but trout are full of it. The old men liked that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Ecclesfield Parish

    Default Re: The lifespan of mayflies getting shorter

    I've read that there's always been confusion as to whether their lifespan was one year or two?

    What puzzles me is the decline in hatches on our local reservoirs over the past few years. Back in the 90's I would often take a week's holiday just to fish every day at Ladybower during 'Mayfly time'- it usually peaked in early June. The past two seasons I've visited Ladybower at 'peak time' and I've hardly seen one hatch let alone see a rise.

    Seven years ago at Scout Dyke there was a very good hatch and I caught 20 fish one afternoon but they've been very sparse since! It's the same at Morehall where I've been a member for five seasons now. Three seasons ago there where some very sparse hatches, the last two nothing! I often see Mayflies dancing on the banks but I never see them hatch out - they certainly do not hatch at peak time, which I've always found to be early afternoon.
    A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.
    ― G E Lessing

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