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Bull shark in Vermilion Bay? It isn't that unusual

Bull shark catch in Vermilion Bay.jpg
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 18:15:14-04

The sight of a shark in the waters of Louisiana might be a frightening sight but how uncommon is it?

A recent post about a reported 7 foot bull shark being caught in Vermilion Bay has some questioning the waters they swim in.

According to LDWF bull sharks are common residents in waters of Louisiana. From areas near the Gulf of Mexico, like Vermilion Bay, to portions of the Mississippi River, these animals have most likely found there way there.

According to a report on Bull sharks by the LSU Ag Center and Sea Grant in 2004, Bull sharks are believed to be most common inshore/nearshore shark in the northern Gulf.

That report also states that bull sharks prefer low-salinity waters but they can in fact thrive in completely fresh water, too. They have been found as far up the Mississippi River as St. Louis, Missouri.

So, it would be common for bull sharks to be found in Vermilion Bay. At this time of year, April through June, it is common for females to seek out low-salinity waters to have the young.

"Bull sharks will grow to 11 feet long and live at least 20 years. They eat almost any type of fish or shellfish, but seem to prefer rays, including stingrays and other sharks," the 2004 report states.

In April, KPLC in Lake Charles reported on anglers reeling in bull sharks near Rutherford Beach. That area is a known as a bull shark nursery, according to Texas A&M researchers.

According to LDWF, all Louisiana state waters are closed to the recreational and commercial harvest and possession of all sharks between April 1 and June 30 of each year.

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