It's fishfly season once again in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

It's fishfly season once again in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Many in the tri-states area have started to notice a few more friends when they visit the river.

Fishflies starting to make their presence known once again.

Fred Neely, who comes to Dubuque a couple of times a year to camp, has never dealt with the pesky insect until this year.

"There was thousands of them," Neely said. "They were kind of an inconvenience, but they don't bite, they don't bother you too much. I had heard of them before, I just never experienced it. It was kind of a pain, you cover your food and eat inside."

The fishflies spend usually about a year under water before they make landfall.

"And as an adult, there are these huge swarms that are above the Mississippi and other major rivers in North America," said Jared McGovern with the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. "And these adults, they mate, then they die, that's it, that's what they do as an adult."

These trips out of water last on average for about 24 hours.

So far they haven't caused any issues, but they have the potential.

They don't have mouths, so they can't actually harm you in anyway. But when they emerge in mass, they can cause issues.

Like last July in Sabula, when emergency crews had to call for plows--a bridge so thickly covered that cars couldn't pass.

"When they are in those sheer masses, they can become dangerous, they can become a hindrance for drivers as they're cruising across the bridges or driving down the road," McGovern says.

And while you may find them repulsive, McGovern says the fact that we're seeing them is a good thing.

"They're an indicator species," he said. "And they can't survive in bad conditions or pollution, so it's a positive thing to see them."

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