Bull shark remains reportedly discovered in Houston-area lake

1:25 p.m Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Recreation
Creative Commons
File photo of a bull shark

Although the closest most of us prefer to get to real, live sharks is via the safety of our living rooms during the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, one Texas man stumbled across the carcass of our nightmares: a nearly five-foot-long bull shark that he thinks got stranded in Twin Lakes, a body of water in Liberty County, northeast of downtown Houston.

A shark in a Texas watering hole that isn’t the Gulf of Mexico? Freaky. (And even more so when you consider that two other sharks, a large tiger shark and even bigger hammerhead, were recently caught as part of a Texas fishing competition.) But don’t cancel all your summer lake trips just yet. 

The dead shark that Liberty County resident Jared Moser found while riding a four-wheeler along the shore of Twin Lakes, according to the Houston Chronicle, is a bull shark, a species known for traveling up freshwater rivers. They’ve even shimmied their way up the Mississippi River as far north as Illinois — so, if water levels were high enough, the shark could theoretically have swam up the Trinity River to Twin Lakes.

That’s what Moser thinks happened with his fishy find, noting in the Houston Chronicle article that he took pictures of the bull shark and posted them on Snapchat as a warning to friends about swimming in the Trinity. But a game warden for the state, Randy Button, voiced his skepticism in the piece.

"The only time the river has been high enough to flood that area was last year. That is a long, long time for a shark to survive in freshwater," Button said in the Houston Chronicle article. "Bull sharks will go upriver, but I personally haven't seen a shark up that far. It's really weird."

More likely, in his opinion, the shark was dumped by a fisherman. Moser isn’t so sure: The animal was decomposing but bore no signs of trauma on his body, and the area where it was found is hard to get to by boat or vehicle. 

Whatever the case, one thing is clear: Alamo Drafthouse’s “Jaws in the Water” event — during which brave souls watch the “Jaws” films in inner tubes over the water at Volente Beach — just got a little too real.

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