Sunday 20 August 2017
 

What's going on in Tahoe's nearshore?

Lake Tahoe’s nearshore is the area most people interact with. The ecology of the nearshore is experiencing notable change. Content coming soon.

 

Midges: Barbara Hayford Interview (1)

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Midges, Barbara Hayford Interview, Part 1


Dr.Barbara Hayford is an expert on midges—those very small, two-winged flies that sometimes hover around one’s head at the water’s edge. Her expertise has taken her from Wayne State College in Nebraska all the way to Mongolia’s Lake Hovsgol, to Crater Lake in Oregon, and now, Lake Tahoe. The composition of midge species in a lake can indicate the state the lake is in, for example, whether a lake has a lot of nutrients or a little.

 

photo: Lake Tahoe Shoreline, by Michelle Sweeney

 

Midges: Barbara Hayford Interview (2)

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Midges, Barbara Hayford Interview, Part 2


Lake Tahoe’s nutrient composition seems to be changing. Invasive species such as weeds and clams, and nutrients added to the lake such as nitrogen and phosphorus can change the composition of the lake floor which in turn affects the animals that can live there. Before they become flies that occupy beaches on a lakeshore, midges live on the lake floor and look like small worms. Different midge species can survive in different nutrient conditions on a lake floor. The species of midges able to survive on the floor of Lake Tahoe are changing. Listen to the interview with midge expert Barbara Hayford for insight into this observed change and what it may indicate about the state of the lake.


photo: Lake Tahoe Shoreline, by Michelle Sweeney