The frogs didn’t do it. It’s the bryozoans. Those big, ugly globs hanging on pier posts, leaning logs and washing up on the bank that look like a translucent round jellyfish that swallowed 100 frog eggs are bryozoans. That’s a type of protozoa. What, you didn’t take science in high school? Just kidding. I don’t know what any of that is, either, but the question came up from one of our readers yesterday wanting to know just what these things are that are showing up all over the lake. Most people just call these “frog eggs”. But those appear in the spring and by now the lucky ones have turned into tadpoles and frogs and the unlucky ones, well, they are fish food.
“There’s just something about the water at D’Arbonne that these things thrive in”, said Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager in Monroe who is overseeing the drawdown of the lake for the state this year. “The reason people are seeing so many of them is that with the water going down, they are attaching themselves to the nearest object, whether it’s a stump, a boat house or just a rock up on the bank.”
Here’s the scientific lowdown on bryozoans. They are jelly-like blobs that can be confused with aquatic egg masses. Bryozoans, most often seen attached to submerged sticks or docks, are mostly large and round. Daniel said some of the masses form a “colony” as big as a basketball. They are slimy to touch and while they are unsightly on piers and docks, bryozoans are not considered a water pollution problem and, in fact, help filter water.
I think that’s all we need to know about that. Except maybe for this. People in Louisiana are known to eat anything that doesn’t eat them first, but I’d leave these slimy things alone. Trust me. No good can come from a Bryozoan Gumbo. When you start talking about amoebas and protozoas and bryozoans and that kind of stuff, there might be something in there that can be fatal. At the very least, it would bring you and your bathroom closer together for a week or so….Sorry. And if you do get your favorite crank bait hung up in a wad of them, wash your hands good. Scientifically, it might not be that important, but it just seems like the right thing to do.