There are sharks in the estuary! This isn't something unusual or uncommon. Some sharks live in the estuaries. Other sharks come to the estuaries to feed or to reproduce. Sharks belong in the estuary and are part of the estuary food web. Read more
The sandbar shark, also called the brown shark, is one of the most popular game species on the east coast and a frequent visitor to estuaries. Reaching lengths of six to seven feet, the sandbar shark's range includes coastal areas along the eastern United States from New England south to the Gulf of Mexico. They have been recorded in nearly every NERR site along the eastern seaboard.
Leopard sharks are easily identified by their unique marbled skin and spotted markings. They use the estuary during all stages of their lives, so you are just as likely to find young leopard shark pups in the estuary as seven-foot long adults. The range of the leopard shark extends from Oregon all the way south into the Gulf of California. Leopard sharks are especially common in the shallow waters of the northern California NERR sites, Elkorn Slough and San Francisco Bay.
Sharks, such as the sandbar shark and the leopard shark, play a vital role in our estuaries. The more we study and learn about these misunderstood fish, the more we can dispel the many misgivings people have that all sharks are menacing man-eaters.