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Officials Say This Is Why a Salmon Shark ‘Washed up’ in Idaho

On Tuesday, Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) reported receiving calls and emails about a dead shark that had apparently washed ashore from the Salmon River. The shark, which IFG identified as a salmon shark, was very far from home. 

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Salmon sharks (and almost every other shark on Earth) rely on saltwater and cannot survive long in freshwater. For a salmon shark to get to where it was found near Riggins, Idaho, it would have had to travel 500+ miles from the Pacific Ocean, past dams and fish ladders. 

The evidence was right there for all to see, but still, officials say the story just didn’t check out. In the U.S., the only known shark to survive in freshwater for long periods of time is the bull shark.

IFG wrote in a tweet: “With so many calls coming in, we felt the need to investigate, and this is what we found.”

In a blog post, IFG staff member Joe DuPont wrote:

“[. . .] I think it is safe to assume that somebody dropped this on the shore for a good laugh. I certainly have laughed about it. This would have been a great April’s Fools Joke.”

As to why someone would transport a dead shark that far inland just for a laugh or who did so, IFG doesn’t have any theories.

DuPont concludes: “rest assured, we have no sharks swimming around in Idaho.”

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