Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

SBSC researchers conducting aquatic insect research in the Colorado River next to Glen Canyon Dam during "Bug Flows"

Detailed Description

SBSC's foodbase team conducts aquatic insect studies downstream of Glen Canyon Dam in the Colorado River during "Bug Flows" - a modified flow regime designed to benefit insects. Bug Flow water releases are steady over the weekend to allow aquatic insect eggs deposited along the waterline to stay wet and thus go through their life cycle in the river, eventually emerging as winged insects. Regular flows resume during weekdays, and the modified flows do not affect hydropower. Studies are ongoing to see whether insect populations increase. Fish, bats and birds prey on aquatic and aquatic winged insects. Photo courtesy of David Herasimtschuk, Freshwaters Illustrated, 2019.  


Public Domain.

Image provided to USGS, Southwest Biological Science Center. To use image, request permission from David Herasimtschuk, Freshwaters Illustrated.