Shark Breath?
Shark Breath?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to the water, an 8 foot shark is caught in the Potomac River. It wasn’t just any shark. It was an 8 foot deadly bull shark.

According to the Washington Post:

Willy Dean was on the Potomac River in a 22-foot skiff Tuesday morning when he realized there was something both abnormal and enormous in his net. It was a deadly 8-foot-1bull shark, a 300-pound-plus killer that had likely been feasting on cownose rays at Cornfield Harbor, just off the shores of Point Lookout State Park.

Buh bump. Buh bump. Buh bump buhbump buhbump. . . .

“When I first seen it, it was like ‘Jaws’ — we need a bigger boat!” Dean said Thursday. “I’m not kidding you. It looked huge. I didn’t know how we were gonna get it out. It’s my first shark. I’ve been fishing here a little over 30 years, and it’s the first time I’ve even seen one.”

But it wasn’t even the only one caught on the river during what has apparently become Shark Week on the Potomac. Thomas Crowder, a commercial fisherman from St. Mary’s County, said he and his crew were cutting a net near Tall Timbers on Wednesday when an even bigger bull shark was trapped. “He couldn’t swim and breathe, and he drowned,” Crowder said. “We kept saying for years that we wanted to catch a shark. . . . And Willy gets one, and then all of the sudden we get one. What are the odds? It’s just bizarre.”

Crowder measured the shark (8 feet, 3 inches), took a few photos, then dumped it back into the river, its stomach split open to keep it from floating.

Bull sharks — among the world’s most dangerous fish, at least for humans, ranking right up there with great whites and tiger sharks — are unique in that they can tolerate fresh river water.

But they’re almost never spotted in the Potomac or elsewhere around St. Mary’s. Ken Kaumeyer, curator of estuarine biology at the Calvert Marine Museum, thinks the last one was in 1973, “when two of them showed up in a town down here in the lower Patuxent.”

It must be global warming. Sharks are one of the oldest species on earth. Many people feel their behavior can be a harbinger. Meanwhile, be careful in the Potomac. These bad boys are from down much closer to the bay. They aren’t quite swimming in the Anacostia River.

Full Story from the Post

The Long and the Short of It (from the WaPo)
The Long and the Short of It (from the WaPo)

8 Thoughts to “Shark Breath? Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    We need a bigger boat…..LOL.

  2. Emma

    This makes me pine for the pre-9/11 days when shark attacks were the biggest news of the summer..

  3. That is the ugliest shark mouth I have ever seen. I wonder how far up the river they have come? You can find all sorts of fossil shark teeth at Westmoreland State Park, Coles Point, etc.

  4. IVAN

    Bull sharks in some areas have been sighted over 1000 miles upstream from salt water. In the Florida Keys they are considered the most dangerous species of shark.

  5. That is one ugly shark. Can you imagine running in to one?

  6. Ivan, do these sharks attack in fresh or brackish water or only in salt water?

    Do they hunt humans? I know very little about bull sharks.

  7. Wolverine

    Took a quick peek at the literature. Bull sharks seem to be common all over the Southern Hemisphere but have ranged as far north as Massachusetts. They do go up the freshwater rivers. Looks like they have been spotted in the Mississippi as far north as Alton, Illinois. I don’t know if they deliberately go after humans — probably just anything that looks like a meal. They operate well in shallow water. Looks like the most frequent shark attacks come from the bull sharks. Just what we need. First we get those strange fish critters with sharp teeth who can walk on land, and now we get to have bull sharks in the river shallows.

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