Jellyfish in My Lake? Really!
I was recently catching up on some reading and stumbled upon this article…”Jellyfish sightings in cottage country” – Cottage Life.
I would never expect to see a jellyfish gently pulsating its way through my cottage lake, but apparently I am wrong!
“I have several hundred reports from 2012” alone, says Terry Peard, a retired biology professor in Harrisburg, Pa., who keeps tabs of sightings on his website, freshwaterjellyfish.org. The complete list includes many sightings from Ontario Cottage Country, including some from our lakes here in Muskoka and Parry Sound. Georgian Bay, Doe Lake, Pikerel Lake, Crane Lake, Otter Lake and the Magnetawan River are just a few of our waterways where sightings have been reported.
Lucky for us, freshwater jellyfish do differ slightly from ocean jellyfish. In case you spot something about the size of a quarter, with string-like tentacles floating around in your lake, it’s important to know these jellyfish are not harmful to humans.I don’t think it can penetrate human skin,” Peard says, citing more than 20 years of experience studying the creatures at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “We’ve handled them bare-handed for years, and we’ve never felt anything.” For a complete list of freshwater jellyfish sightings in cottage country lakes, check out Peard’s website: jellyfishsightings.org.
John and Bonnie Fincham operate their family run Real Estate Office with their daughter Eva in Magnetawan On.
Photo courtesy of Mike Dunn, Coordinator of Teacher Education, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.