Their leader, who is by profession a science teacher in the Boise school district, didn't believe the girls and challenged them to show her one and prove it. They immediately did!
Little did any of them know that they wouldn't have to get any farther than downtown Boise to meet a relative of the Portugese man-of-war they may find next summer on their trip.
The girls decided to return on Sunday, Sept. 22, 1997 and see if they could collect one in a jar to take to school for further study. The little creature was viewed and returned with no interest. But the following day, Tuesday, that soon changed when one the leaders stepped in and went asking questions in the community of the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.
On the 21 of September a Girl Scout troop was S.C.U.B.A diving in Bob Rice pond where they happened to see a small jelly fish like animal swimming in the water.
A science teacher baffled by the animal took it to a Marine bioligist who was also baffled by it. A Co-leader took it to the M.K nature center where it was identified as a fresh water jelly fish, which happened to be the only siting in the whole state!
If this lake had been treated with chemicals the jelly fish would no longer exist there. When I first saw it I thought big whoop a jelly fish . I didn't know it was so important. Now we are observing them and taking notes and doing other tests on them .
We are trying to find out what they eat , doing nothing to hurt them. we also gave a few of them names, like Spunky. On saturday one of them layed eggs, so now maybe there will be little jellies in hydroid form.
sent by JESSICA: )
Our girl scout troop had been working to go to Hawaii for the last three years, and while we are there we thought it would be fun to go scuba diving in the crystal clear waters of Maui.
The next day we went back in the icy waters armed with peanut butter jars and plastic soda bottle in case we saw these creatures again. By the end of the day we had caught five or six of the jellyfish.
He told us that only a few of these species had ever been found and when they were, only in ponds and rock quarries such as Bob Rice pond. Oddly enough most were found in states east of the Mississippi River, and that they had never been found in Idaho before. This was one of the the first new species found in Idaho in the last ten years.
The even more amazing part of this discovery is the timing. Only once in about 13 years do these species ever take the form of a jellyfish. This is their sexual stage in reproducing. So the last time that these species were in the jellyfish form was when everyone in our troop were just being born.
This is a pretty amazing discovery, but if you knew our troop well, you wouldn't be all that surprised. Our troop is the complete opposite of the cute cookie selling cliche of a girl scout troop you might think of. Our girl scout troop is pretty much notorious for having wild adventures (not always good ones).
Our girl scout troop is very active. We go backpacking and hiking, we go camping and skiing, we go to Lagoon and Hawaii, not to mention taking scuba diving classes and discovering a new Idaho freshwater jellyfish species. One of troop member's, Jessica Lopour's, mom said "Leave it up to you guys to discover a new species."
The Fish and Game department has already told us that we could not take anymore of these animals out of their natural environment. So I guess next time you go swiming in Bob Rice Pond or any other pond for that matter, keep your eyes open you'll never know what you might find.