Sea nettles showing up more in Neuse River, sounds in ENC

Sea nettles are showing up in more places than just the ocean this season. (Nate Belt, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Seeing jellyfish at the beaches is a common occurrence. Now, they're making their way into our rivers, as well.

"Sea nettles are a natural part of the ecosystem here," said Brian Silliman, professor of Marine Conservation Biology at Duke Marine Lab.

A sea nettle was captured in Oriental just a couple of weeks ago. When you're swimming in the Neuse River, is it normal for you to be on the lookout for them? Silliman said absolutely.

"This is the time of year where it's warm, there's a lot of nutrients and food in the water system, so this is the time where sea nettles increase in population, they start to bloom," Silliman said. "Some people see that and think the population is growing year to year but there isn't evidence to support that."

As we approach peak nettle season, Silliman advised everyone to keep an eye out for them. They are expected to be around until at least August. If you get stung, acid like lemon juice or vinegar will help relieve the pain.

"There are a lot of things that we know about that can knock them back to the ocean. If there is a large amount of rain, the fresh water will come out and push them into the estuary. There could be a change in temperature or a phytoplankton crash."

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