Publisher: Cathy Unger
Contributors: Bob Gregorski
Monthly meetings are at 7:00 PM the first Wednesday of the month in the Community Room at the, Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St., Naugatuck, CT. For further information call Dom Falcone at 860-274-4103 or email@example.com or visit www.tunaugpomp.org. Unfortunately, our speaker cannot come this month but will be able to for April. I will be sending information out for next month on who it is. The March 5th meeting there will be a discussion about the upcoming banquet and the election of new officers.
Please complete the survey that was emailed to you as it is extremely important to send back or call about the survey we sent out, 146 in total and we have only gotten 10 back so far.
I have been requested by state DEEP to make sure none of our people are going into the construction area. If they wish to view it they can from across the river on the other side of the road, not in the construction area. If anyone enters the area the job project risks being shut down and the person is subject to arrest and all the fines and penalties of the law. I remind everyone this is a Federally funded project run by the State please stay out.
Park City Truck Equipment
1001 Wordin Ave.
203-576-0560 or cell 203-509-9303
AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS
Naugatuck River Greenway
Steering Committee February 12, 2014
Snow Fleas Bob Gregorski
If you have fished the Naugy, Housy or Farmington in February or early March, you may have witnessed similar winter scenes as described.
“Frank! Look at the robins feeding on top of the snow. Looks like they’re feeding on a small black mass that’s in motion”, I shouted. The scene was about 40 feet away, but the bright red breasts of several robins and the black moving mass that they were pecking at were in stark contrast to the white snow in the bright sunlight. That scene occurred many Februarys ago while Frank McDonald and I were fishing for steelhead trout in the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY. The sight was unusual in two ways. Robins were present in western New York in February, and we later determined the black mass to be hundreds of snow fleas in motion.
They are called snow fleas commonly, but they aren’t fleas. Their erratic, jumping movement is why they were named springtails. Two spring-like tails propel the tiny insect above the ground. They have no wings. Those snow fleas had come out of their burrows on a relatively warm, sun-shining day looking for food. Their insect order pre-dates dinosaurs (about 400 million years ago). The little, dark slate blue colored buggers (1-2 millimeters long) are resilient and come equipped with their unique antifreeze which means they can eat all year-long.
Since that first sighting in Pulaski, I have seen smaller numbers on warmer days in the winter on the banks of the Naugatuck, Pomperaug and Farmington Rivers. Snow fleas (springtails) are valuable insects whose main role in life is to aid in the decomposition of dead flora, algae, fungi, bacteria and more. In the eco-system, birds, ants and other insect eaters eat them in turn.
Snow fleas are miniature-processing machines. The matter that they process is returned to the soil and utilized by living plants. These abundant insects live in woodland and riparian soils usually under layers of leaves or on the water surface.