(upbeat music playing) (faint tapping on glass) – No! (rumbling) I kind of hate midges. I’ve caught really nice fish with midge patterns, but they’ve also caused me a lot of pain and suffering. I’m a PhD student, I research endangered fish species in Colorado. I’m researching how pollution in streams might be harming them. Here in the basement of CPW, algae is peacefully growing in a fake stream. Algae is the foundation of a stream ecosystem. At the bottom of the food web, it grows on sunlight and micronutrients. That’s where midge larvae comes in. Larvae live on stones, scraping algae and building silk cases as they grow. As they metamorphose, the rise to the surface and struggle to emerge as adults. This is when they’re the most tempting to the trout. Anglers love midges because they hatch year-round. Midges also become an important food source for other animals outside the stream. Finally, adult midges that survive return to the stream to lay eggs that look like pearl necklaces. So midges are great for the environment, and great for fishing, why do I hate them? Many Colorado endangered fish eat algae, and I raise them in the lab for experiments. Sadly, non-sport fish don’t get much attention, but I’m here to help them. But these midges moved in to my experiment uninvited! In a few short weeks, they grew explosively, and decimated the food source for the fish I’m studying. (sad violin playing) My poor algae-eating fish starved, and now I’m scrambling to collect more. Electrofishing might be just as fun as fly fishing, but this has put me behind by several months. So you could say, I’m just holding a grudge. There’s really nothing wrong with midges. But the next time you’re catching monster trout on tiny flies, maybe just think about endangered non-sport fish. And wish me luck, so I might finally graduate some day.