Mayfly season begins in the Midwest

Any day now, the Mississippi River is going to give us what the Illinois River gave the people of Havana, Ill., southwest of Chicago, today.

It’s mayfly season.

Photo: Havana, Ill., Police Dept.

At one point, about 6 inches of mayflies were piled up on a bridge over the river.

It’s been a few years since the Mississippi mayfly hatch occurred in June, however.

Last year, the La Crosse, Wis., area was hit with the hatching from the mud bottom of the river on July 4.

Photo: John Sullivan via National Weather Service in La Crosse.

The worst hatch — or best, depending on how you feel about this sort of thing — in northern sections of the river occurred in Hastings in 2012 when two cars collided on the Highway 61 because of the slippery road caused by the dead flies.

Last year’s hatch in Hastings also occurred on July 4.

What’s really happening here is some mayfly love.

Before they die — anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours after emerging — males and females find one another, and drop as many as 3,000 eggs back into the water.