AN IPSWICH bull shark fisherman says sharks are regularly caught near family swimming areas at Colleges Crossing, and has urged residents to be alert to the presence of the predators.
Jason Reeve said that while the sharks he caught were never more than 1.5m juveniles, parents of young children and dog owners needed to be aware of what they were getting into the river with.
It follows the story this week of a dog owner who spotted a juvenile bull shark's fins protruding from the water, near the banks of Colleges Crossing, just after the dogs had been swimming.
Mr Reeve has fished for bull sharks in both the Bremer and Brisbane River regularly and said it was common to see sharks ranging from 1-1.5m, but bigger sharks would return to saltier waters once they reached that 1.5m mark.
Shark experts have backed Mr Reeve's observations, recently confirming to the QT that the Ipswich sections of the two major rivers were "nursery" areas for young bull sharks, where they were able to feed on small fish and crabs without threat from larger predators.
Mr Reeve said while a bull shark attack was very unlikely, he would not swim where he goes fishing.
"I've caught two sharks at 1.4m in the Bremer, one at 1.3m in Colleges Crossing but witnessed a bloke get two at 1.5m in Colleges up past the concrete bridge to the left of the lookout up there," Mr Reeve said.
"They were caught last season."
Responding to this week's story of a woman who spotted a shark at Colleges, Mr Reeve said it was unsurprising to see a shark of that size, especially after dogs had been in the water.
"Dogs will attract them," he said.
"I caught mine 30 minutes after a family were swimming."
Ocean and Coast Research shark expert Dr Jonathan Werry recently told the QT that large female bull sharks drop pups after swimming up into the Ipswich reaches of the Brisbane and Bremer rivers in late spring.
Of the adults, only female sharks have ever been tracked so far upstream, and it is thought that they may only stay inland for a matter of hours before returning to salt water.
Dr Werry said bull shark attacks were rare in our area because the sharks were simply too small and generally inhabited the deeper holes in the river.