Fears after shark weighing up to 1,000lbs found in landlocked water as US officials receive dozens of sighting calls | The Sun
OFFICIALS have been forced to reassure residents of a landlocked state that there are no sharks in their area.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game received a flood of phone calls and emails on August 15 about sightings of a shark.
In a press release, the department said: "Calls and e-mails came pouring in yesterday claiming they found a shark washed up on the shores of the Salmon River near Riggins."
The sheer amount of calls prompted the team to investigate the area.
When they arrived at the banks of the river, they found a dead fish which has since been determined as a Salmon Shark.
This species of shark commonly feeds on salmon as well as squid, birds, and herring and can grow to 10 feet long and weigh almost 1,000 lbs.
However, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, their average size is between six-and-a-half feet and eight feet.
Photographs of the shark were shared on the department's Instagram page showing the decaying fish lying on the rocks near the water.
The caption read: "First smallmouth bass, then walleye, and now SALMON SHARKS! When are our salmon and steelhead going to catch a break?
"By the look of it, this does appear to be a salmon shark.
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"Should we be concerned with this shocking discovery and its potential impacts on our salmon and steelhead populations?
"Well………. seeing no sharks have been observed swimming up our fish ladders lately, and the only known shark that can live in freshwater is the bull shark, we think it is safe to assume that somebody dropped this on the shore for a good laugh.
"Our Clearwater regional fisheries manager certainly had a good laugh about it. This would have been a great April Fool's Joke."
The post added: "If you were one of those people who saw this fish on the shore, or maybe somebody shared the photos with you, rest assured, we have no sharks swimming around in Idaho."
However, despite the reassurances from officials, some Instagram users were not convinced.
One begged for "more research" as they were skeptical about the notion it was a prank.
They commented: "Forget the impacts on salmon. People wade and swim in this water please more research needed and less 'it’s probably a very very elaborate prank lolz.'
"Sure it could be a weird joke, or it could be something more, why not more investigation?"
Another person said: "That's what they say at the beginning of all shark attack movies."
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"You guys think someone caught this and then drove it 600 miles to drop it off in Riggings," a third added.
Others replied: "Same thought I had. Seems like a lot of effort for a picture or a prank."
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