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Panic After Salmon-Eating Shark Found in Landlocked Idaho

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Idaho residents have been uneasy about their inland waterways after a shark was discovered in the landlocked state. Now, wildlife officials for the Gem State are offering a theory that might explain how the predacious fish ended up there in the first place.

The shark was found washed up on a stretch of the Salmon River near Riggens on Aug. 15, and concerned civilians soon flooded Idaho Fish and Game with calls and emails reporting the bizarre find, the department said in an Aug. 16 news release.

Agents from the wildlife agency were sent to investigate and discovered what appeared to be a deceased salmon shark.

“By the look of it, this does appear to be a salmon shark,” Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game’s Clearwater region fisheries manager, said in the release. “Salmon sharks can grow up to 10-feet long and weigh up to almost 1,000 lbs. As indicated by its name, salmon sharks like to feed on salmon.”

This seems to pose an immediate problem for all Idaho sportsmen, as salmon are a critically important fish for anglers. According to a 2019 report by the American Sportfishing Association, in one year, fishermen generated an economic impact of more than $1 billion in the state.

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The introduction of a new predator would surely impact the natural resource and Idaho’s bottom line.

Dupont addressed the concerns directly, offering an explanation for the strange shore find.

“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, I think it is safe to assume that somebody dropped this on the shore for a good laugh,” he explained in the notice.

“So, 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.”

Was this shark placed as a prank?

Idaho Fish and Game uploaded two photos of the beast, with DuPont advising the public to “judge for yourself.”

The first photo shows the shark where it was found on the banks of the Salmon River. Thanks to the placement of the predatory fish alone, the creature looks as though it simply washed up.

Salmon shark on the banks of the Salmon River.
A salmon shark was found on the banks of Idaho’s Salmon River. (Idaho Fish and Game)

The second photo gives a much better view of the shark.

Seen from a top-down view after the brute was placed on the turf, the iconic profile of this oceanic predator becomes immediately apparent.

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Salmon shark found in Idaho waters.
A salmon shark was discovered dead on the banks of Idaho’s Salmon River on Aug. 15, and concerned civilians soon flooded Idaho Fish and Game with calls and emails reporting the bizarre find. (Idaho Fish and Game)

The fact that the shark was found dead is the first telling clue to this mystery. The Salmon River, a freshwater waterway, cannot support a seafaring shark such as this one. While bull sharks can travel upstream out of saltwater, the fish found in Idaho was not of the same species.

Thankfully, all signs point to this simply being the work of a dedicated prankster.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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