Sharks in Potomac river, USA

This was in the river. Really.
Buzz’s Marina
This was in the river. Really.

By Sarah Laskow in the USA:

One more reason to stay out of the Potomac: It’s got sharks

Three years ago, a D.C. fisherman nabbed the first bull shark to be caught in the Potomac River in 37 years. This week, he caught two more.

The first shark, the Washington Post reports, was found dead in John “Willy” Dean’s fishing net. The fishermen, not surprisingly, thought that would be their lone shark catch for the day. But then, the Post says:

[Willy’s son] Greg Dean and the biologist returned to shore with the shark, and Willy Dean and deckhand Patrick Ridgell went back out to collect their ordinary daily catch. They saw fish acting strange, maybe even frightened, swimming closer to shore than usual. Then Willy Dean and Ridgell saw something that looked like “a big gray cloud,” as Greg Dean put it. And then a dorsal fin.

As a rule, sharks don’t really want to eat people. But these are some of the fiercest and most dangerous sharks on earth. They’re 300 pounds and more than eight feet long. No one really know what they’re doing in a river in D.C., but people keep seeing them there. The Post:

As for why the sharks have been spotted there in two of the past four Augusts, Greg Dean says it is anybody’s guess.

“I look at it like this. They’ve been out there for a very, very long time. And I guess a lot of them are figuring out when the water gets a little bit warmer, they can go a lot closer to the shore to get their food instead of being way out in the deep,” he said. “Everybody has their theories. That’s mine.”

So, uh, maybe don’t go swimming in the Potomac. Although it’s pretty disgusting anyway. The sharks may be in more danger from the river than we are from them.


Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things. Follow her on Twitter.

What is the Biggest Shark? A Chart Shows the Diversity of Shark Sizes: here.

Aliens of the Deep: Deep-sea Sharks Are the Hidden Stars of Shark Week – See more here.

Removing sharks from coral reefs causes declines in algae-eating fish that keep reefs healthy: here.

October 2013. A team of scientists from Canada and Australia has discovered that a decline in shark populations is detrimental to coral reefs: here.

How to tag a shark (and keep all of your fingers): here.

14 thoughts on “Sharks in Potomac river, USA

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