Sharks? We've a got a few in Texas

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It's shark week!

More Than Just a Pretty Smile

Sharkmania is taking over the nation this week and we've joined in on Facebook and Twitter. Sharks deserve all the respect they get. Their position at the top of the food chain means they maintain the balance of marine life below them. Without sharks, our Gulf ecosystem would fall apart. 

3 Texas Shark Facts You Might Not Know

whale shark and divers
  • Sharks are the ultimate Texas natives: two 300-million-year-old ‘supershark’ fossils were recently found near DFW. Even sharks are bigger in Texas!
  • Shortfin mako sharks are the fastest sharks on record, clocking in at 46 miles per hour.
  • Whale sharks are the largest fish in existence and hang out at Texas artificial reefs (see photo). Their populations are in decline – as are many shark species. 

Find photos and fun facts about Gulf sharks in the recent Texas Parks & Wildlife story, "Swimming With Sharks."

    Safe Shark Catch-and-Release

    shark caught on line underwater

    If you catch an undersized or prohibited shark species, you must release it immediately. Read over the shark catch-and-release techniques in the Outdoor Annual. They help protect both anglers and fish. 

    It's especially important to release prohibited species without removing them from the water. A list of needed equipment is also included with the safe catch-and-release tips.

    Prohibited Shark Species

    Top 5 Sharks of Texas

    silky shark

    There are about 40 shark species found in the Texas waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These 5 are the most common:

    1. Atlantic sharpnose sharks
    2. Blacktip sharks
    3. Bonnethead sharks
    4. Bull sharks
    5. Spinner sharks

    Check shark regulations and learn to identify the different species as well as any size limits. Recreational Texas anglers are allowed one shark per person per day with a two-shark possession limit.

      Shark Melon!

      man holding a shark made from a watermelon

      One sweet way to celebrate Shark Week is with a shark watermelon. 

      There are a few variations, but the basic instructions for carving a watermelon into a shark are pretty easy. There are even video instructions if you prefer to watch and learn. 

      So cue the Jaws music, get out your favorite carving knife, and bring a shark melon to your next gathering.