Somewhere back in the late eighties there was a article in the local paper of a small shark with a picture caught in the licking river.It was thought back then someone released it there.But now it makes ya wonder.
Its not unheard of catching sharks in the Mississippi or Illinois river. Bull sharks can acclimate(spelling?) to fresh water and I think theyre the only ones that can? Netters catch a few around Alton/St.Louis every year and there was one a few years ago netted between us and Iowa. I hope theres some in there, we got asian carp they can feed easy on. I doubt many people swim etc in the river/watershed now days. The river was a bigger source of recreation and local commerce years ago. Numbers of commercial fisherman are so low that Im surprised someone hasnt pushed to prohibit it. I believe it was 1918(?) that bull shark(s) killed and attacked several people along the Mississippi waterway and I think they were sighted near the Iowa line that summer. Most Ive seen pictures of or heard of were 2'-4'. Gramps talked of a few being caught right after the area was settled. The trammel and hoop nets arent really good for or designed to catch anything above 4' and 4' is pushing it. Trotlines or setlines are heavy enough but not setup for anything like sharks without having steel leaders etc.
Get your steel leaders ready. I was thinking the other day that because of the gulf oil spill more bull sharks will come up the Mississippi. Maybe they will eat all the chinese carp.:angry::angry::angry:
There's a post in the KY section about finding a 2ft bull shark stranded on a dock in Louisville after the last period of high water dropped.
From what I've read, it seems that bull shark pups are around 2ft long when they are born. That's also what they said on the episode of River Monsters where he was catching bull sharks in the freshwater rivers of Southern Africa.
He caught two males that were over 9ft long and 500lbs on that episode. Two of the largest male bull sharks ever caught. They tagged and released them for tracking.
Last year in the same area, a female bull shark 13ft long and weighing 1000lbs was caught, tagged, and released.
So far, it seems that all of the tagged sharks have stayed in the river itself. None of them have gone back to the ocean.
It would not surprise me one bit if there are breedding sharks in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
All I can say, if there is a population, my catfishing days are going to somewhat decrease... Why settle for a 50lb blue if you can catch a 250lb bull? Shoot, people will get pissed at me for using 30lb cats for cut bait.