Bull sharks appearance ‘not unheard of’
Locals were abuzz on social media with the news that sharks were recently found in Lake Salvador, again bringing into question the safety of those spending time near the water this summer.
The sharks are presumed to be bull sharks, which are known for an aggressive nature.
LDWF Marine Fisheries Biologist Jason Adriance said that bull sharks, unlike other shark types, prefer low salinity waters, which makes Lake Salvador a potential landing spot. He also said this was not a one-time occurrence.
“The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries [LDWF] does occasionally encounter bull sharks while sampling in Lake Salvador as bull sharks are naturally more tolerant of low salinity environments than most sharks,” he said. “Bull sharks are one of the more common inshore shark species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. They remain in low salinity waters during their early years of life.”
Shane Granier, biologist manager at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said the Lake Salvador water was “much saltier 10 to 15 years ago” than it currently is.
“It’s not necessarily a common occurrence, but it’s not unheard of (to find sharks in the lake),” Granier said.
The sharks’ presence in the water seems to indicate even further, after weeks of shark attacks and sightings in the news, that if one is to go out to enjoy a day by the water, he should keep a wary eye and take precautions.
According to Adriance, bull sharks are one of the more aggressive shark species worldwide. Though the bull shark specifically may be more likely to inhabit Lake Salvador than most other species, any trip to enjoy time by a body of water should come with care.
“There are a variety of native shark species throughout Louisiana coastal and nearshore waters,” Adriance said. “The bull shark is just one.”
Depending on the bull shark’s size, one can potentially be quite dangerous, said Granier. “Bull sharks also often dwell in very shallow waters, making them more of a threat to humans than other sharks.
“A smaller shark probably wouldn’t be as aggressive toward a human as a larger one,” he said. “But as they get larger, obviously, they can be very dangerous.”