Are there sharks in Lake Michigan?
Scientifically, NO sharks have been documented in Lake Michigan. Now, there is always more to the story than the simple one word answer. Across the Great Lakes region, “unofficial” shark sightings seem to emerge every year. These sightings are usually proven to be a hoax. I am a prankster myself and can see the resulting benefit of empty water and beaches for a week. Can you imagine having a Chicago/North Shore beach to yourself for a weekend? Sounds heavenly.
Now, the Lake Michigan pro-shark conspiracy theorists will attempt to use science to back up their claim. They will proudly state that Bull sharks have evolved over the years to restrict the removal of salt from their bloodstream, allowing them to spend time in freshwater. This is not wrong. BUT, it does not mean that Bull sharks are swimming around the Great Lakes. Bull sharks have been spotted in the Mississippi River around the St. Louis area but the many locks and dams of the Illinois River would make it very very difficult for a Bull shark to swim over from the Mississippi River and into Lake Michigan.
I hope this blog gives you enough information for your next debate with someone that tells you there are Bull sharks hanging out in Lake Michigan. For now, we are safe from sharks and we have every reason to enjoy Chicago’s Lake Michigan beaches. I promise to keep my eye out for sharks in the water and will be the first to notify you if I see one. Until then, enjoy the lakefront - we look forward to seeing you out there.
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