BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Eagle-eyed Baltimoreans have spotted jellyfish in the Inner Harbor in recent days.
WJZ anchor/reporter Max McGee saw a jellyfish in the Harbor near Di Pasquale’s Harborview in the city’s Riverside neighborhood Monday afternoon.
— Max McGee (@MaxMcGeeTV) September 14, 2020
According to the National Aquarium, the jellyfish is an Atlantic Bay Nettle, one of four species of jellyfish that can be found in the Harbor.
Jack Cover, the general curator of living exhibits at the aquarium, said in an email that the end of summer and late fall are common times to see jellyfish in the Harbor. They live not only in the harbor but also the Chesapeake Bay and other tributaries primarily between July and September.
“This is the full adult medusa or swimming phase of this jelly, the last life stage. Once the water temperatures drop to 55 F, these jellies can no longer digest food and die off,” he wrote.
Bay nettles mainly eat plankton but will also eat small fish if they can catch them, he added.
So what makes jellyfish sightings more likely? The salinity of the bay can make a difference, Cover said.