Sea nettles are typically associated with summertime, but as with many other natural occurrences, the expected patterns no longer hold true. The Chesapeake Bay is home to its own species of jellyfish, Chrysaora chesapeakei, which has recently emerged in such a force that local fishermen are struggling to pull their nets back into their boats. They are now forced to wait for the tide to turn so the nettles can fall out of the nets on their own.
In addition to clogging the fishing nets, sea nettles also “light up” the nets like a Christmas tree, making them more visible to rockfish. This enables the fish to easily spot and avoid the nets by swimming over or around them. The net result (no pun intended), fishermen are catching far fewer fish for their efforts. It is just all part of the fun of being a commercial fisherman these days.