Growing jelly fish invasion in Puget Sound



Posted on September 12, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 12 at 6:21 PM

SEATTLE - Open water swimmers who take off for a swim in Puget Sound probably an encounter a jelly or two.

"And many times I have run straight on, put my hand in one and by the time you feel it, your momentum takes you get it head on, and that's a little unpleasant,” said Scott Lautman.

It's not like these things are going to kill you unless you have an acute allergy to them, but they can make a walk along the beach a very stinging experience if you don't watch where you step.

Victims compare the sting of most jellyfish to that of a stinging nettle but more persistent.

Widespread reports of jellyfish in Puget Sound are nothing new. They rolled in by the thousands on a Port Angeles beach ten years ago.

Olympic swimmer Megan Quann got acquainted with them on a charity swim in Puget Sound in 2005.

"We saw lots of jellyfish out there,” she said.

Lately, people are reporting them in larger numbers and sizes.

Experts are stumped as to why more jellyfish are showing up in more places in the world. They need more information and they are getting it from open water swimming groups that are teaming up to share their experiences.
"I've done the English Channel, which is the most notable. We've done the Straits of Gibralter, the Basra Straits, across the Panama Canal,” said Lautman.

But despite what many feel is a dramatic increase in the number of jellyfish in Puget Sound, there is no official census that can be used to confirm it.