MENASHA, Wis. – It’s in annual rite of spring. The lake flies have returned to Lake Winnebago.
Although the insect plays an important role in the lakes ecosystem, those who do business on the lakes shoreline are just glad their season is short lived.
“It is something where we’re glad it’s only two weeks and we’re glad that it’s usually gone by Memorial Day weekend which is our big opening weekend for our tiki bar outside patio.” says Chuck Storino a managing partner at Waverly Beach Bar & Grille on the lakes north shore.
Lake flies don’t bite and typically only live for a few days.
The eggs they lay on the water grow into red worms which is a prime food source for fish in the Winnebago system including sturgeon.
Long time residents like Dar Leary say life on the northern shores far outweighs the short term annoyance of lake fly season.
“People say why are you living out there? I say you have to take the bad with the good and there’s a lot more good than bad so that’s why I live out here year round as long as I can.”
There is often a smaller second hatch that occurs in late summer or early fall.