Gnats in June.

Barnacle

Member
Hello everyone, I have frequented this site for years and finally decided to create an account. My family loves Lake Powell and we have been going down since the 80’s. We bought into a newer houseboat last year which moved our trip from July to the middle of June.

Last year was our first June trip in 20 years and we couldn’t believe the amount of gnats. You couldn’t go outside after sunset or before sunrise without getting a mouthful. So my question is was last year an anomaly or should we expect about the same this year when we head down next week?
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
Yes gnats are very friendly in June and July. We will count on you to report your findings this year. The big difference is low water last year and quickly rising water this year. If the gnats are hatching on brush on or near the water they may not be able to do as well when the lake comes up so fast. Let us know what you find out. I am guessing less gnats this year.
 

Barnacle

Member
We have been going in July so we are definitely familiar with gnats, but last year in June felt more like a biblical plague. I was just curious if anyone in this group has more experience in June and whether last year was an above average year or if we should expect the same again.

I will definitely report back in a couple of weeks on my own experience.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Our group of 7 fishermen have created a type of dance that requires a clapping of the hands overhead(usually under the lights)that kind of looks like a Mexican Hat Dance and is usually done to Will the Circle be Unbroken or any number of songs, current or classics. Very comical but highly effective at killing gnats. Yes we are a goofy bunch.
 

Rivergoer

Well-Known Member
I was invaded by a bunch of lady bugs last weekend. Never seen that on Lake Powell.
@SeaLegs I wonder if you ‘found’ part of that 10-mile-wide lady bug swarm last seen over the Mojave Desert earlier this week.

 

SeaLegs

Well-Known Member
Haha, I don't know but it was crazy. I was doing some night fishing on the back of the houseboat and felt some rain on my arms and legs, then the raindrops begin to move.
It only lasted for 15 minutes or so. They were pretty small lady bugs.
 

jimmybame

Well-Known Member
I just hate when the house fly’s find you usually happens more next to a lot of house boats the gnats are always around but don’t bug me as much
 

Slenn

Member
Last year was was an anomaly for gnats pretty much everywhere I went. It was the worst I've seen in my 12 years going to Powell. I camped mid-lake last weekend and it wasn't too bad at all. I agree with Wayne, I think the minimal rise in water last year allowed all the larvae along the shoreline to hatch.

FYI: Red or Green headlamps will not attract as many gnats at night. Blue and white lights seem the worst.
-Slenn
 

Outside

Well-Known Member
Last year first thing in the morning when calm and quite there was a deafening buzz...
At least they don't bite, just had to keep your mouth shut
 

Skibum

Well-Known Member
I was invaded by a bunch of lady bugs last weekend. Never seen that on Lake Powell.
Back in the days when Kane Wash had high water, we pulled in to camp on the island/peninsula beach on the east side. The kids were excited to see that a lady bug was in the boat. Turned out that one of the large tammies was covered in them. One lady bug is fun...a swarm of them, not so much.

In the same area, again camping near the high water line where the tammies would get good sized (anyone remember high waterline?) we woke one morning to find our forward handrails, bimini structure, forward cabin hatches etc had been taken over by orb weavers laying down their Halloween worthy webs everywhere. (They all had lady bug breath I noticed...😬). I have a wife and daughter that will pick up snakes and let wasps out of the house, but totally freak with tiny spiders, not to mention ones the size of a good orb. Needless to say, we packed up and found another camp. That area also was also populated by some good sized, bad tempered rattlesnakes who made you wait to untie a mooring line from a tree that they had decided was today’s perfect shade. Many good memories of Kane Wash....

Re gnats. We were on the lake a couple weeks ago and they weren’t bad, mostly because it was hard for even birds to fly in the heavy rain, let alone gnats. We like to refer to ~7pm as “gnat time” the time they usually seem to start swarming on the back bimini. After dark, I hang a decoy light far enough out that they don’t bother us, but close enough that we can still see to eat. Bats cruising under the bimini for a quick catch provides the entertainment. For me with a red headlight, it seems the gnats have that one figured out.
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
Over the years we have found ourselves on lake during “the hatch”, and the density of the tiny flyers is massive. They seem to really like the black screens on the upper decks. We have a pressure water hose reel up top for wash down and this car wash style sprayer takes them to zero quickly, rinsing them into the lake. During the hatch we sprayed many times each day. There were so many of them, they would actually cause a black shoreline near the boat. Literally a week later they were completely gone. I do not recall this as an annual event, but when it hit, it hit hard.
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
In the same area, again camping near the high water line where the tammies would get good sized (anyone remember high waterline?) we woke one morning to find our forward handrails, bimini structure, forward cabin hatches etc had been taken over by orb weavers laying down their Halloween worthy webs everywhere. (They all had lady bug breath I noticed...😬). I have a wife and daughter that will pick up snakes and let wasps out of the house, but totally freak with tiny spiders, not to mention ones the size of a good orb. Needless to say, we packed up and found another camp.
The annual spider hatch just started last weekend. Arriving Saturday I had no orb webs on my boat in the slip, but Sunday morning I cleaned out 12 webs with very small spiders in them, Monday morning probably 20 in the same area. I imagine when I'm back in a few weeks it will be ugly with not so tiny spiders by then! (their bite is equivalent to a mosquito bite size and itch, so not too bad)
 

Frostman

Member
Get yourself a Black Diamond head lamp with the red light feature and use it and the gnats won’t be such a problem. We changed the lights along our stairwells to red LED strings and it REALLY makes a difference.
 

waterlogged

Member
Our group of 7 fishermen have created a type of dance that requires a clapping of the hands overhead(usually under the lights)that kind of looks like a Mexican Hat Dance and is usually done to Will the Circle be Unbroken or any number of songs, current or classics. Very comical but highly effective at killing gnats. Yes we are a goofy bunch.
I like the methodology and it would be entertaining to watch it...LOL.... No matter the effectiveness, the entertainment would be , uh, priceless.
 

Brent

Active Member
Hmmm, Our first year at Powell in 2004 we had bad gnats. We thought it was the area we were in, not the date

Our first night of hell on the lake after getting blown off the beach at Cookie Jar and then in a really bad storm in the middle of Padre Bay in the dark. We finally found a spot to anchor on the peninsula between Gunsight and Padre Bay, it had a lot of tamarisk bushes. The gnats were so bad our ceiling in our houseboat was black with gnats. We learned to close all our windows and turn off the interior lights and run the AC. Later on that same trip we ended up at Dungeon canyon and had very few gnats at that location and the last day we ended up on the east side of Gunsight and had very few gnats as well.

Our normal trip now is the last week in July / first week August and the gnats are not an issue at all during that time.
 
Top