The first shark was found last week in Decatur County. A picture was sent to the TWRA March 17.
DECATUR CO., Tenn. – Wildlife officials are investigating after three sharks were found along a stretch of the Tennessee River from Decatur County to Humphreys County.
The sharks, all of which were dead, were found within the last week near three different boat ramps along the riverbank.
The TWRA said the first was found last week in Decatur County, the second Monday night in New Johnsonville and third Tuesday morning in Decatur County.
All three of the sharks were about 14 inches long and appear to be the same type.
TWRA Asst. Chief of Fisheries Bobby Wilson said, "We've contacted folks that know more about saltwater fish than we do, and they think it is either a Finetooth shark or a Blacknose shark. Neither could tolerate fresh water at all."
The TWRA said they are investigating the discovery of the sharks as a prank due to their proximity to the boat ramps.
"We think it is just a big practical joke that somebody caught them possibly down in the gulf over the last week or so, thought they would just bring back up here, put them near some of the boat ramps where somebody would likely find them," Wilson said.
The TWRA doesn't believe the sharks were put into the water alive, but if that is the case the person responsible for doing that could face charges.
"If they were dead," Wilson said, "it's different. They are not supposed to do it, but if they were alive, definitely, they would be in big, big time trouble."
This isn't the first time the TWRA has found a species that isn't native to Tennessee waters.
They say Asian, or Silver Carp have been spotted on the Cumberland River, in and around Cheatham County.
They are an invasive species of fish that can jump as high as 10 feet into the air.
The TWRA says they can injure boaters and fishermen and even threaten wildlife.