By Heartland News
OLMSTED, IL (KFVS) - It's no fish story. This shark is the real deal.
The Ohio River flood waters are receding and a shark was left behind on the boat ramp in Olmsted, Illinois in Pulaski County.
Tony Gerard, a biology professor at Shawnee Community College, physically observed the shark Thursday and says it is a spiny dogfish shark.
Monica Edwards of Olmsted sent Heartland News some pictures into cNews Thursday morning.
A commercial fisherman found the two-foot long shark already dead on the ramp Thursday morning.
The find got a lot of folks talking around town.
"It's just kind of interesting," said David Sharp from Olmsted. "Everyone been wondering where it came from, how it got here, swam up or was hooked and brought up or whatever."
"What else is out there in that river," said Monica Edwards, Olmsted Village Clerk. "When you see a shark. Even though it's not that big a shark and it doesn't have the big jagged teeth that you associate a shark with, it's still a little eerie to think that there's shark's out there."
Gerard says it is a female, but is not sure on the age.
He says this is not a freshwater tolerant shark and if it were alive at some point in the Ohio River, it would be the first time he knows of this type of shark living in the area.
However he speculates that more likely a boat worker caught it in the gulf region and dumped it in the Ohio River. He says this type of shark has a spiny fin that has toxins. The fin was cut off, which Gerard says is common in the gulf where people catch them, and cut them off to avoid injury.
A Missouri conservation agent originally thought it may have been a juvenile bull shark after looking at the pictures. Bull sharks can live in fresh water and have been found in the Mississippi River.