West Duluth’s Spirit Valley Has An Extra Season, And It’s Disgusting
Ever summer the area of Spirit Valley and surrounding areas of West Duluth get a bonus season not a lot of other places get. It happens usually right in the middle of the summer and it leaves businesses, homes, and cars in pretty rough shape.
Yep, if you lived or worked there you probably have guess it: mayfly season. These mayflies can be found in just about any freshwater area. The flying insects coordinate their hatching so that many, many, many of them hatch at the same time. They only live for about 24 hours after they hatch, so it's short-lived, but the swarms can be unbelievable.
Many places deal with mayflies and they show up on weather radars each year in areas across the United States. But here, in the Twin Ports there is nowhere that comes close to how bad the Spirit Valley area gets. The mayflies come from the St. Louis River. The mayflies just like any other insect are attracted to lights. The bright lights of gas stations, bank drive throughs, fast food places, and other bright businesses bring the swarms in. Some years are worse than others, like back in 2018 WDIO posted these pictures.
Then the mayflies die and their dead insect bodies are littered over everything. It's super disgusting.
Not only is it gross, but it pretty much kills the fishing in the St. Louis river for a couple of weeks. The fish feed on all the mayflies and then they aren't hungry to bite your bait or lure.
Fortunately this year wasn't a super terrible year, but it still left a good mess on quite a bit of places.