Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Exploring new waters: Rose River, Madison County

I'd like to explore some new streams in the winter and spring, so yesterday I went up to the Rose River in Madison County.  It's good water, known for some of the best trout fishing in central Virginia.  While I found a lot of good insects, I was surprised by the number of midges I found but pleased with the photos I got of them.

If you monitor streams, you come to expect these little larvae in your nets.  You might -- mistakenly, as it turns out -- assume that all midges are "tolerant" critters that indicate so-so water.  That's not true at all.   In North Carolina's list of tolerance values, there must be 500-1000 species of Chironomids listed, and they run the full range of TV's from 0.0 to 10.  So as it turns out there are "good" midges out there, and I suspect that's true of the ones I found yesterday given the quality of the water involved.  This is where I was looking.


I didn't find anything new yesterday, but I did find of couple of nymphs that, before this, I had only found at the Rapidan River: the common stonefly, Agnetina capitata,

and the spiny crawler mayfly, Ephemerella subvaria.

I plan to back to the Rose in the winter and spring.  I expect to see some pretty good insects -- maybe even something new!

A couple good photos of a brushlegged mayfly.  Still no way to key out the species.


(I might add, by the way, for our readers who are fly fishermen, that almost all of the midges we see are this color.  Helps to know that for midge imitations.)

1 comment:

  1. I think the midge in the photo could be a Diamesa (sub-family Diamesinae). Larvae of many Diamesa species are cool-adapted, inhabiting flowing water/springs.