Have Sharks Really Been Spotted in Maine’s Kennebec River?
Just like the tales of alligators in the sewers of New York City, if you talk to enough people, someone will try to tell you that sharks have been spotted in the Kennebec River. But how much truth is there to the stories of these ocean predators being spotted in the mighty Kennebec?
Considering how we have seen an uptick in shark sightings here in Maine (and off the coast of Maine) in the last few years, it kind of makes sense that there would be more talk of sharks in our rivers.
Sharks In Maine Waters
When I was younger, I always assumed that sharks were only found in the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Apparently, I was wrong. Very wrong.
According to an article in Maine Boats, Homes, & Harbors, there are eight species of sharks that typically frequent the waters off the coast of Maine. These include the Blue Shark, the Basking Shark, the Sand Tiger Shark, and the monstrous Great White!
While these sharks are often found in deeper waters, sometimes they do come near the shore. For example, in late July of 2020, a woman from New York was killed in a shark attack less than 100 feet from the shore of Bailey Island.
Sharks in Maine Rivers
So,do sharks ever make their way into Maine's rivers? Yes. Occasionally, sharks have been spotted in the Saco River. And, in 2022, a group of fishermen caught a Sand Tiger Shark in the Sheepscot River.
Are There Sharks in the Kennebec River?
The river gets its start at Indian Pond, deep in the middle of the state. It flows to the coast, eventually dumping into the Atlantic Ocean near Popham Beach. So in theory, sharks probably have made their way up the Kennebec River. That being said, we can find no documentation of shark sightings on the river. And even if they did come up the river, they probably would never make it to Gardiner, Augusta, or Waterville. Although, it would not surprise us all that much if they were spotted on the river in Bath.
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Gallery Credit: Fred Miller