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Marine Environment


*These are based on actual media articles that were redacted and summarized.

Be aware of hitchhiking rays when boating

A boater was enjoying a day of fishing with his girlfriend’s uncle when the uneventful trip became one he would never forget. The boater was chasing schools of redfish around the bay when he decided to travel across the bay to fish.

“We were running close to the middle of the bridge when about 25 feet in front of the boat, I saw an eagle ray jump. I quickly thought to myself ‘I hope there isn’t another one,’ and no sooner than I thought that, a second jumped right about 8 feet into the air in front of the boat.”

Going 40-miles per hour the boater’s attempt to slow down by pulling back the throttle was too late. As the spotted eagle ray hit the apex of its jump, there was no avoiding a collision. The boater hid behind the wheel as the ray slammed into the left side of the center console before it was hurled into the leaning post and nearly split in half. The aftermath resembled a horror movie.

‘Jaws’ in Beaver Lake: Animal attacks paddle boarder

A beaver suspected of carrying rabies attacked a paddle boarder on the lake, inflicting multiple lacerations. An animal control officer with the Police Department caught the beaver Saturday, less than a day after the incident. It was euthanized and was being tested at a state laboratory for the rabies virus.

“I saw a big splash, but I didn’t see what the splash was from,” said the 67 year old victim who has used the lake for 22 years. “It came up under my board and knocked my board over, and then it latched onto my leg and wouldn’t let go. I didn’t know what it was at that time. I didn’t think there was any ‘Jaws’ in the lake.”

Once she fell in the water, the beaver kept attacking. She said, “I was yelling, ‘Help, I’m being bitten!’ A very nice fisherman was talking to me and motioning me to come over, and then it turned around and attacked me again and latched onto my hand. Then it came around a third time and latched onto my other hand.”

The angler helped beat the beaver off her and brought her to shore. She was transported to the hospital for care of multiple lacerations. “Beavers chew on logs, so I’ve got some pretty good lacerations and staples and stitches,” she said.

Two boaters injured by leaping sturgeon

Two people are recovering after being injured when a sturgeon leaped into the path of their boat on the river. The boat was carrying three children and two adults when the silvery fish crashed into the boat. It was reported the children weren’t hurt, but a man was flown by medical helicopter to the hospital. The woman on the boat was taken in an ambulance. Their identities haven’t been released.

On July 3, a 5-year-old girl died a day after being hit by a leaping sturgeon while boating on the river.