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.