March 27, 2013
Tracking the Cicada Hatch
By Tim Romano
Cicadas might be annoyingly loud, but I know they bring huge trout to the surface on rivers like the Green in Utah and the Colorado at Lees Ferry in shadow of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Bass also love them and I'm sure they suck them down all over the east coast. And now there's a way to see realtime info on when cicadas will start flying around—using data provided by you.
WNYC, a public radio station in New York, is promoting a crowdsourcing project call the Cicada Tracker, where people can create a temperature sensor and report their findings to the station when things start to warm up. WNYC will then map this data on the cicada hatch in the Northeast and share it online.
Here's how WNYC explains the project:
Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.
We know that when 8 inches below the surfaces reaches 64 degrees F those little buggers will be everywhere, but we don't know when that'll be. That's why WNYC is asking "armchair scientists, lovers of nature and DIY makers" for your help to predict the emergence of cicadas.
I'd like to thank my friends over at The Flyfish Journal and NPR for alerting me about this project. I'm thinking we should ask WNYC to bring their project West too. Get a scope of cicada hatch for the entire U.S. Oh, and while they're at it, we should ask if they can figure out a way to crowdsource some info for the salmonfly, caddis, and green drake hatches as well.
What says you? Think it's possible? What hatch would you like crowdsourced?
Photo from Wikipedia.