Are There Jellyfish in Quinn’s Pond?
90º temps in the near future, Quinn's Pond will once again be one of the Treasure Valley's favorite places to beat the heat while we wait for river floating season to arrive.
Heading into 2019, the popular swimming pond is getting some TLC. Over the past few summers, the pond has had to close periodically because E. Coli in the water reached levels that were considered dangerous for swimmers. This year, Boise Parks and Rec hopes that the aerators they've installed on the bottom of the pond will reduce bacteria levels by keeping the water moving.
Beside bacteria, what else is lurking beneath the water at Quinn's Pond? It's a popular fishing destination, so we know there's a fairly nice variety of freshwater fish co-existing with swimmers. That probably doesn't give you the heebie-jeebies about swimming there, but if I told you that you might be swimming with jelly fish? Well then, you might feel a little been freaked out.
According to an archived 1997 article from the Deseret News, a Girl Scout troop was learning to scuba dive at Quinn's pond when they made a surprising discovery. A crystal clear jellyfish swam right past their swim masks and thought it was awfully strange to see something like that in a fresh water pond. The quick thinking troop caught it and took to to Boise State, Idaho Fish & Game and the Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation who confirmed that it was indeed a jellyfish. At the time, this particular type of jellyfish had only been discovered east of the Mississippi so the girls went back to find a few more for the foundation to perform research with. The jellyfish were part of the same family as the man-of-war, so they're considered "a little poisonous" but they're only about the size of a penny so it's unlikely that they're able to penetrate human skin with their stings.
So are they still in the pond 22 years later? It's very possible! According to a Fresh Water Jellyfish directory maintained by Dr. Terry Peard of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, jellyfish were reported in Quinn's Pond again in 1999, 2007 and 2017.
Quinn's isn't the only local swimming hole they've been spotted at! Peard's directory also shows reports of jellyfish at Eagle Island State Park in 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2015. This video posted by ScubaIdaho in 2013 certainly seems to back up those claims!