Something Unusual with Chironomid Hatch?

#1
One thing noticed this year and mentioned by others we ran into fishing the past little while is that we didn't see the huge chironmid hatches we have encountered in other years. At times on the BC lakes things were hot and heavy but then it would really cool off. Did any of you notice a similar pattern where you fish? Likely just part of the natural cycle or maybe poor timing for us but something we haven't experienced before to the degree encountered.
 
#3
Some of the local lakes had good chironomid hatches in February but for some weird reason the “good” hatch lakes still aren’t....but the fish still pull the bobber under! To me that might mean they’re still wiggling around deep and not hatching?
 
#4
I too have noticed reduced hatches on a lake near me. I was used to seeing the swallows coming out several times a day when the hatches were going on - a trigger for me to go out fishing. There also were more dragon and damsel adults in previous years.

I was a county volunteer for helping monitor the lake's water quality for a number of years. Took water samples, measured water temps at various depths as well as water visibility. I looked at the water temperatures by year here: https://green2.kingcounty.gov/smalllakes/ and it looks like the temperature at 1 meter down has been about 3-5 degrees Celsius cooler in a number of previous years. Temps affect hatches and this could be big part of the reason. But since fish eat 90% of of their food sub-surface it should not affect the fish except maybe making them fatter due to more bugs...
 
#5
We did see some great damselfly hatches and mayflies too. We still fished chironomids most of the time and we did catch fish. But the big hatches were few and short lived. We fished some lakes for up to 8 days and saw few popping to the surface somedays. Lots of throat samples revealed daphnia, glassworms or tiny scuds which was taken as an indicator the chironomids were few to be found.
 
#6
Our BC lakes are very weather/barometer sensitive.Dropping barometers, cold fronts, rain, etc. can shut things down fast and keep things shut down for a while.
Our lakes are also “area” specific- even on smaller lakes, certain areas, depths,shoals,can be “on” while others are “off”. It’s like a big moving puzzle at times.
 
#7
I was just at Crane Prarie and the midge hatches were off the charts. Morning and evening. They were mostly small species. They covered my tube one evening and were in rafts along the downwind shores. There were also large hatches of long horn caddies every day but damsels and dragons are late.
 

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