Low, steady flows from Arizona dam could benefit bugs
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Water has rushed through the Grand Canyon to build sandbars and spawning areas for native fish.
Soon, the water that flows from Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona-Utah border will be low and steady to benefit bugs.
Scientists hope a months-long experiment that starts this weekend will lead to a 26 percent increase in black flies and midges, and the return of bigger bugs.
Fluctuations in the water for hydropower create artificial tides that expose bug eggs and dry them out.
Scientists say keeping the flows low and steady over the weekends will give eggs laid below the water's surface a better chance at survival.
The so-called bug flows are part of a larger plan approved in late 2016 to manage Glen Canyon Dam for various resources.