Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay

Updated:

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Susan Meredith said if there is one thing she normally does for all the customers renting her boats at Blackwater Paddle and Pedal along the Choptank River in Cambridge, "We send them right up river.  They don't want to see any sea nettles, they are scared to death of them."

That's because just upriver, the water isn't salty enough for the jellies, and they are nowhere to be seen.  But this year she doesn't have to do that, because there are not any to be seen anywhere in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries like the Choptank.

Jacqueline Tay, a student at the University of Maryland Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, has been studying the local sea nettle species, chrysaora quinquecirrha, for several years.  She said when she started, sea nettles were a common sight in the river.

"Every time you would go out there would be anywhere from 30 to 300 jellyfish in a small area.  And it's been low since then," Tay said.

And when sea nettles are low, it usually comes with a price.

"They eat zooplankton, they eat copopods, the same food that fish eat.  They also eat another jellyfish in the bay called the ctenophore.  The prevailing thought is that if there aren't many sea nettles, then there are a lot of ctenophores.  And that's a bad thing for the ecosystem." explained Tay.

Bad because the ctenophores eat considerably more zooplankton, leaving less food for the fish.  But good news, they are nowhere to be found either.

While it may sound like a crisis, the head of the jellyfish program at Horn Point, Dr. Raleigh Hood, thinks it's just a cycle.

"We don't have any evidence to suggest that there's links between year to year in terms of population size.  as far as we know, the population we have this year and how big it will be next year are largely independent of each other," Hood said.

So for this year, swimmers in the bay get a free pass, and Susan Meredith is glad to hear it.

"I'm glad.  The less jellyfish, the more swimming, the more people want to go out on the water," Meredith said. "You know it scares people out of the water when they see that or take their family tubing.  It deters people so I'm absolutely thrilled."

"Good year to be a swimmer on the Chesapeake Bay," Hood said.

There are a few theories on where the jellyfish are.  Some hypothesize the cold spring killed off a large portion of the jellyfish, and some think that perhaps they are farther north.  The scientists are working, as they always have, to find out more about this mysterious species that seems to be missing in the chesapeake bay.


  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Intersection Changes Cause Relief and Concern

    Intersection Changes Cause Relief and Concern

    07/27/2017 23:49:00 -04:002017-07-28 03:49:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:49:38 GMT
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - The addition of two stop signs to Springfield Road and Gravel Hill Road in Georgetown is a welcome change to many in the area...for the most part. A number of people say that more warning is needed for the stop signs, as drivers have bMore
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - The addition of two stop signs to Springfield Road and Gravel Hill Road in Georgetown is a welcome change to many in the area...for the most part. A number of people say that more warning is needed for the stop signs, as drivers have bMore
  • People in Cambridge Unsatisfied with New Waste Removal System

    People in Cambridge Unsatisfied with New Waste Removal System

    Thursday, July 27 2017 9:33 PM EDT2017-07-28 01:33:05 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 9:33 PM EDT2017-07-28 01:33:05 GMT
    Before sunrise, Maritza Sanchez is busy outside worrying about how to move her trash.More
    Before sunrise, Maritza Sanchez is busy outside worrying about how to move her trash.More
  • Grants to Prevent Opioid Use in Women and Girls

    Grants to Prevent Opioid Use in Women and Girls

    07/27/2017 20:40:00 -04:002017-07-28 00:40:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-07-28 00:40:31 GMT
    (Photo Credit: MGN Online)(Photo Credit: MGN Online)
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health announced 16 awards to nonprofit entities across the nation with a mission to help opioid misuse by women of all ages.More
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health announced 16 awards to nonprofit entities across the nation with a mission to help opioid misuse by women of all ages.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Three Men Convicted in Sharptown Shootout

    Three Men Convicted in Sharptown Shootout

    07/27/2017 14:11:00 -04:002017-07-27 18:11:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 2:42 PM EDT2017-07-27 18:42:10 GMT
     Bryan Blake, Jeffrey Whitten, Logan Littleon; Photo Credit: Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Bryan Blake, Jeffrey Whitten, Logan Littleon; Photo Credit: Wicomico County Sheriff's Office
    Three men have been convicted and sentenced in connection with a 2016 shootout in at Cherry Beach Park in Sharptown, Maryland.More
    Three men have been convicted and sentenced in connection with a 2016 shootout at Cherry Beach Park in Sharptown, Maryland.More
  • Dover Police Arrest Pizza Delivery Robbery Suspect

    Dover Police Respond to Pizza Delivery

    07/27/2017 11:50:00 -04:002017-07-27 15:50:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 1:39 PM EDT2017-07-27 17:39:16 GMT
    Jamal JonesJamal Jones
    Dover police have arrested a suspect accused of robbing a pizza delivery employee.More
    Dover police have arrested a suspect accused of robbing a pizza delivery employee.More
  • Intersection Changes Cause Relief and Concern

    Intersection Changes Cause Relief and Concern

    07/27/2017 23:49:00 -04:002017-07-28 03:49:00 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:49:38 GMT
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - The addition of two stop signs to Springfield Road and Gravel Hill Road in Georgetown is a welcome change to many in the area...for the most part. A number of people say that more warning is needed for the stop signs, as drivers have bMore
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - The addition of two stop signs to Springfield Road and Gravel Hill Road in Georgetown is a welcome change to many in the area...for the most part. A number of people say that more warning is needed for the stop signs, as drivers have bMore
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices