Sounds like ice worms to me. Did they look like this? http://www.ecology.bio.titech.ac.jp/Stu ... eworm1.JPG
If so, I could not find any references in the literature that suggested they might be pathogenic. If they are ice worms, my gut (ha - ha) tells me that they are probably not pathogenic since they will dissolove very quickly in the body as they cannot tolerate temperatures above 41 degrees F. This is just a guess. (FYI, I am a water quality scientist with a focus on waterborne pathogens).
Thanks, I think you may be right. I googuled before for Black Worms and could not find anything similar. Ice Worms, however, look very much the same. So I'm less worried now.
I attached a few links for those who experienced these worms on Shasta to confirm (or disconfirm) that the worms were identical.Source: Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/l ... ms21m.html
In this National Geographic video the ice worm is shown between 17-24 secs.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKEVe-Y6Wqw
Thanks a lot again. I've learned something new again. I had no idea about existence of Ice Worms not to mention they are so big deal in science, even NASA is very interested in their existence. They are, in fact, very interesting.
Based what I've learned so far they were found no further South than Oregon and live deep in glaciers being able to traverse through ice. They avoid sun, so go deep down before dawn. They disappear ("melt") in a few deg above freezing point.
According to my experience on Shasta, they were present in water stream initiated from, perhaps, permanent snowfield neighboring with Boolam Glacier. They were definitely present in the water stream afternoon. Well, I did not measure the water temperature but don't think it was icy cold. It was, however, from melting snow. On Monday morning I wanted to take a sample of the worms and found none. The water was icy cold. Ice formed overnight in many places along the stream.
So many properties of Shasta's worms are similar to Ice Worms but still somewhat defer.Hotlum/Bolam Ridge. Arrow shows the (visible) beginning of the water stream.