CHARLOTTE, — There"s yes, really no reason to be afraid to swim in Lake Norman or Lake Wylie. Or is there?On the one hand, the wildlife swimming in ours lakes isn"t practically as wild together the man-eating piranhas terrorizing feather breakers on fictional Lake Victoria in "Piranha 3D," the campy gore-fest the made $10 million at the box office last weekend.On the other, toothy fish perform lurk in ~ the surface ar of ours lakes. And some locals room afraid to obtain their feet wet."I"ll walk to about my ankles, however that"s it," claims Stephanie Sawyer, 35, the Matthews, who has actually been petrified the lake swimming because her childhood. "(It) certainly has to carry out with the creatures" in the water. Absolutely."Lake Norman resides Whitney Dainko"s are afraid cropped up more recently."I was running around a month back near my home when i noticed an pet lying in the sand trap," she recalls. "As I gained closer, i realized it to be a turtle. The was vast probably two feet. As soon as it observed me, that freaked and ran a lot much faster than I assumed a turtle might move and jumped in the lake. I need to say, I"m not that psyched about swimming in Lake Norman anymore."___I once caught a fish this big"It is against state regulation to own piranhas and also several other varieties of exotic fish. Yet people occasionally obtain their hand on them, and in rare cases, relax them into the wild due to the fact that they deserve to no much longer keep them.In 2007, state wildlife officials figured out a fish recorded in the Catawba River together a piranha but later they determined it to be a pacu additionally illegal, yet not as menacing-sounding. In current years, two other predatory nonnative fish have actually turned up: In 2007, a man captured a snakehead in Lake Wylie; an additional was caught there in 2009.Chris wood of the N.C. Wildlife resources Commission states that also if a piranha acquired into a lake, a single one can cause small harm. The problem with snakeheads? "They are indiscriminate fish eaters and can have deleterious effects on aboriginal fish" but they aren"t aggressive towards humans."Sorry," lumber says, "but (our) fish fauna is quite benign."Still, there space a couple of varieties of neighborhood fish that would be scary come run into while swimming.One is a gar, which has actually an elongated jaw filled v sharp teeth. They can grow 2-3 feet long and weigh 6-7 pounds. The other is a bowfin, which additionally has spicy teeth and also can grow an ext than three feet long, weighing as much as 20 pounds. Both could bite anglers as they unhook them, but they"re otherwise docile.Nope, professionals say, there"s not a fish about that will strike a human."No man-eaters in the lakes," states Ken Manuel, duke Power"s head aquatic biologist. "But watch out for alligators.Is something fishy walk on?Manuel is kidding, the course.But a handful of world are convinced there"s a beast the some sort in Lake Norman. Many of them have the right to be discovered trolling LakeNormanMonster.com, which attributes a cartoon dinosaur together its mascot and hawks T-shirts, vital chains and a "monster searching call."The site contains reader "sightings" like this one, indigenous "Jacob" that Denver: "Me and my dad were on ours boat and we saw a 30-foot fish. The swam away as rapid as lightning."Gus Gustafson, a longtime Lake Norman fishing guide and Observer columnist, spins the Lake Norman Monster story as well as anyone: It"s a tale about a genetically engineered superfish the escaped from a fishing farm yard in the "60s.Asked if it"s true, he laughs, then states with tongue in cheek "Uh, I"m not sure."Ultimately, though, he it s okay serious: "I don"t wanna surprised anybody. Her bigger worry really should be the boat traffic and also the jet skis. That"s a actual danger. It"s no what these fish space gonna execute to you."




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