Yesterday, Nick told me of a story he saw on television about a shark attack in the Great Lakes. I didn’t believe him, of course. We bickered about it for a while until, today, I finally looked it up on the internet. The information that I discovered might make you think twice before taking a dip.
Shark Attacks Man in Lake Michigan– A man named George Lawson had his right leg bitten off by a Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) while swimming in Lake Michigan, near Chicago. The attack was unprovoked and took him by surprise. The Conservation Report
These Bull Sharks have also been recorded in the Mississippi River, but it has been claimed that a series of dams and locks known as the Illinois Waterway, which connects the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan, SHOULD prevent them from entering the lake. “Furthermore, Lake Michigan bathers should not be too concerned, because Bull Sharks prefer warmer waters.” The Conservation Report
On February 12, 2006, divers working with Wisconsin DNR Fisheries, caught a five-foot female Bull Shark under the ice on Lake Pepin, which is part of the Mississippi River. The Wisconsin DNR were responding to reports from several startled salvage divers of a large shark in the cab of a pickup truck that had gone through the ice a few weeks earlier. The Wisconsin divers located the truck in approximately 18′ of water with the shark still inside. The nearly dormant shark was easily captured, then the DNR examined the shark, tagged it with a radio tracking device and released back into the river Nokomis East Neighborhood Association .
The Bull Shark like the ones found in Minnesota and Wisconsin are common worldwide, can grow to over 11 feet long and 700 lbs and are known for being unpredictable, and often times aggressive. The Bull Shark is not a freshwater shark, but it is able to tolerate fresh water for extended periods of time Florida Museum of Natural History.
I neglected to mention that the shark attack in Lake Michigan was reported in 1955. No one seems to have any information about the man who was allegedly attacked, George Lawson.
My guess is, that, the story of the Lake Michigan shark attack is just as much bull as the shark.
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