Shark warning! Ipswich to erect signs at river hot spots
THERE are hundreds of bull sharks lurking in the murky depths of the Brisbane River and now Ipswich City Council is set to take action to warn residents of the dangers.
The council will initially erect a shark warning sign at the Goodna boat ramp on the Brisbane River with other signs planned to go up at other shark hot spots in the city's river system.
The QT has reported regularly over the years the experiences of fishermen who have caught bullsharks in Ipswich.
Bull shark season is upon us with the summer months seeing more sharks in the river when the larger females breed.
Deputy Mayor Paul Tully said public safety was paramount and the warning signs were needed to alert residents using our rivers to be aware of the dangers.
"I get regular reports of bull sharks in the Brisbane River at Goodna," Cr Tully said.
"People who are water skiing or going into boats there need to be very careful because sometimes they have children helping them launch the boats who are up to their necks in water, and that could be extremely dangerous.
"So we are looking at erecting a sign there warning people about the presence of sharks in the river and to take exceptional care.
"In the Brisbane River, and upstream to Colleges Crossing, there is a proliferation of bull sharks.
"There have been reports of people being nipped over the years at Colleges Crossing, and they are probably some of the smaller bull sharks up there because that is as far as they can go upstream because then you've got the Mt Crosby weir.
"But I am just concerned that one day there could be a fatal attack and some people who move into the area probably don't realise there are sharks in the river many kilometres upstream from the mouth of the river."
The sign at Goodna is likely to have an image of a bullshark on it with a warning that sharks are present in the area and alerting residents to the dangers.
Bull sharks are regarded by experts as third on the list of the most dangerous sharks globally in relation to attacks on humans.
They are aggressive and prefer murky and shallow waters.
Cr Tully said he had spoken to a fisherman who had caught numerous bull sharks in the Brisbane River and related how they swarm like bull ants.
"He said how if you disturb a bull ant's nest a lot of bull ants come out, and his perception is that the bottom of the river is just teaming with bullsharks," Cr Tully said.
"But people don't realise that because they only just see the odd one or two that might be caught in the area.
"But he says they are swarming on the bottom of the river."
Shark attacks off east coast beaches are on the rise, as highlighted by the mauling of a 17-year-old surfer off Ballina on Monday.
But the rivers are just as dangerous.
Flinders View fisherman Jason Reeve told the QT recently of how he catches plenty of bull sharks in the Brisbane and Bremer rivers, and sent us an image of a 1m shark he caught at Mt Crosby weir.
But he's seen them much bigger.
"Ten or 15 years ago you didn't hear of people catching them very often - now they seem to be everywhere and a lot of people are catching them," Mr Reeve said.
"I've seen one shark swimming near Mt Crosby weir that is about double the size of the one that I caught down from the weir recently.
"Personally I wouldn't swim at the weir or Colleges Crossing, knowing what is in there.
"If there were a shark of about six foot in length hanging around he might grab you."