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What in the world are those brown jelly like blobs attached to twigs and dock posts in my lake? The good news is they won't send out little critters to eat you. They are actually Bryozoans, small animals related to corals that live in colonies and secrete the jelly like substance you see. If you look closely at the surface you will see small star like structures that are the little critters themselves.

Have you ever encountered these jelly blobs in your lake? They are actually a good sign that the water quality is in good shape. Tell us about your encounters with them in the comments section below.

Are Those Brown Jelly Blobs In My Lake Alien Life Forms?


June 16, 2010 at 9:29 am
(1) Diane Leitschuh says:

We recently fished Rend Lake, Illinois and there was this “jelly blob” in the water and I poke it with the tip of my rod and it moved. I asked my husband what it was and he also had to poke it as he didn’t beleive me when I told him it was alive. Thank you for the explanation. Diane

August 2, 2010 at 11:54 am
(2) Paul says:

I just pulled a pump inlet from Lake of the Ozarks. It had a colony of Bryozoa approximately 1 foot long by 8 inches in diameter. They look terrible and feel slimy, but I’m happy to hear that they indicate good water quality since the lake has been fighting bad publicity over the matter for the past couple of years.

August 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm
(3) Christine Fusee says:

We found one about 8 inches long and 4.5 in diameter today. Very interesting, it was on a piece of seaweed that got caught on my daughters leg. There were many zebra mussels also attached to the seaweed. The blob had surrounded my mussels. This is in Otty Lake, just outside of Perth Ontario.

February 24, 2011 at 3:23 am
(4) Susie says:

I used to see these on vacations at Lake of the Ozarks, MO, quite often. My first encounter was when I was fishing off of a boat with my family one evening and I caught something, and when I reeled on my line I discovered I had hooked a very old fishing pole, and on the line of that pole was one of these yellow bryozoans! Another summer I found one attached to a rope hanging off of the dock. They used to really creep me out, but now that I am older and like to learn about things that once scared me, I have a new respect for these little creatures.

July 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm
(5) Jim says:

Large and numerous masses of bryozos in my lake in the poconos

July 24, 2012 at 11:34 pm
(6) Ken Schoenig says:

We live at the 18mm of the Osage, we found similar colonies today attached to a neighbor’s dock. First time in 20 years at the lake that we have seen anything like this. Made for an interesting learning experience for the family as we researched it this evening.

September 2, 2012 at 10:58 am
(7) Scotty Favs says:

I feel bad because prior to reading this description of the Bryozoan I had an encounter with one 14″ round and 4′ long in my 2 acre spring fed pond. The disgusting site of it floating around made me sick to my stomache. every time I looked at it resembeled the look of a dead seal in the water. My kids didnt even want to swim after seeing it. I finally got the courage to rap a sheet around it and drag it out. It had a very nasty smell like a swamp. does this mean that my pond is gonna get dirty now that I removed It?

September 3, 2012 at 8:45 am
(8) fishing says:

Removing them won’t hurt your pond – they grow only in healthy ponds but don’t really help it

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