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Jelly-like animals not new to lake

Jelly-like animals not new to lake, but are having bumper year

News editor

More visitors to Marion County Park and Lake are noticing floating animals that look like big blobs of jelly.

Despite rumors, they were not introduced to the lake to fight algae, Superintendent Steve Hudson said Friday.

“They’ve been here as long as I’ve been here, which is six years,” he said. “With as old as this lake is, who knows how they got introduced?”

The most likely explanation, he said, is that they may have arrived via young or eggs hitching a ride with waterfowl. The lake previously had freshwater jellyfish, which purportedly were brought by pelicans, Hudson said.

They are filter-feeders, like sponges, he said.

This has been an excellent year for their growth, it seems. Visitors have been noticing them more, especially at the beach and docks.

“Dock owners have really noticed them attached to docks more this year,” Hudson said. “This is the first time I’ve seen them this big.”

He thinks they are being dislodged from buoys and debris and being blown to shore by winds.

Last modified July 12, 2012

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