Fish & Wildlife | Water | Ecotrope

After dam removal, double-decker mosquito bites!

Ecotrope | Aug. 27, 2010 8:16 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:47 p.m.

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Mosquito

John Tann

I could not find a picture of a double-decker mosquito bite. If you have one, send it my way!

Sounds like a lot of folks – including the reporter at the Medford Mail Tribune – are perturbed by the swarms of mosquitoes unleashed by the Gold Ray Dam removal on the Rogue River.

I’ve never seen so many graphic descriptions of mosquitoes and mosquito bites in one news story.

Apparently the dam removal – hailed as progress for wildlife habitat and ecosystem function – created some muddy sloughs that are just perfect for breeding mosquitoes. Lots and lots of mosquitoes. And “a pox” to go with the “unwanted marauders,” according to reporter Mark Freeman.

People in the neighborhood are “at risk of perpetual pokes from the raging blood-suckers,” Freeman wrote.

“It’s one of the side effects of a project like this,” says Manager Eugene Papineau of Jackson County Vector Control.

“Their dogs are getting bit up,” he says. “Their children are getting bit up. They’re not happy.”

Papineau guesses the slough draining nurtured mosquito eggs laid long ago and multiplied the number of hatchlings into the millions. He has hired crews to spray the mosquitoes, and, Freeman writes, the crews “have been greeted like Doughboys marching into Paris.”

Neighbor Gary Stein explains how severe the problem has become:

“We’ve been barraged by mosquitoes. You can’t step outside without getting bitten. I think my bites have bites.”

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