Re: NANFA-- conservation status of SE fishes

Scott Davis (
Sun, 8 Oct 2000 02:50:01 -0500

> I was surprised to read of the Charcharhinidae being infrequent visitors
> southern U.S. fresh waters. I was under the impression that they entered
> fairly often, especially since I thought that I had read about bull sharks
> being in Illinois? or the Illinois river?-one of the 2 areas....

In a small note in Copaeia several years ago Jim Thomerson cited a newspaper
article from the 1930s about a bull shark caught by fishermen at Alton,
Illinois. That was before the flood control dams.

Every now and again the papers have something about a dead shark being found
in Lake Michigan. This leads to speculation that someone has brought a
frozen shark home from vacation and has dumped it to startle the locals.

A factor with bull sharks (aka the Zambezi shark in southern Africa) ambling
into freshwater is that the water must be fairly warm. They have been
recorded in the likes of the Ganges, Mekong, and Amazon as far inland as
Manaus. I think they are also the so-called freshwater shark of the
Mesoamerican lakes (Managua, Nicaragua ....)

The Thomerson article (it has been quite a while since reading it) may have
raised the question as to whether they would be caught again in the
Mississippi as far north as Illinois. Would the water below the dams be too
cold (rather below 80 degrees F.) for them?

All the best,


In the snowy Chicago suburbs

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