A local shark expert says the reported sighting of three bull sharks near Eden Isles last weekend is not cause for alarm and should not prevent people from swimming in Lake Pontchartrain.
The Eden Isles Homeowner's Association reported the sighting in an alert to its members last Saturday. It said three bull sharks, 3-4 feet long, were seen near the Barbara Lane/Firehouse Wall Canal area.
"I think those are three juvenile bull sharks looking for food. They might have found, chased a school of mullets, striped mullets, up into the canals," says UNO fish researcher Martin O'Connell.
O'Connell says the recent shark attack in which a bull shark bit the foot of a 7-year-old boy in the lake is a rare occurrence, but it made people aware of the presence of sharks in the lake.
He says the attack and recent sightings should not prevent swimming, just be smart where you swim.
"You're probably a lot safer in clearer water where the shark understands you're not a fish, but perhaps in more turbulent waters, you might be a little bit more alert," O'Connell said.