Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Mullet, followed by sharks

Uh-oh, the mullet are migrating again along Treasure Coast beaches.  Why uh-oh?  Because close behind the mullet come the sharks  The mullet, 1 to 3 feet in length, gather in large schools near the shoreline preparing to spawn.  Then they head south to spend the winter in warmer waters.  For the sharks its supper time.  Various species of coastal sharks feed on the mullet – black tip, bull, lemon, nurse and spinner.  Most are under 5 feet.  But all have sharp teeth.  When the wind is light and the water clear, you can see silhouettes of sharks in the surf.  Check out the photos of shark silhouettes on TCPalm.com, the website of Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.  You don’t want to get between sharks and mullet.  In their feeding frenzy, the sharks might take a bite out of you.  This is a good time to confine your wading and swimming to beaches with lifeguards on duty.  Stay out of the water if purple flags are flying.  That means dangerous marine life is present.   If you see mullet jumping like crazy, don’t go in.  Yes, mullet jump even when no predators are around.  Maybe it helps them digest the tiny plants and animals they eat.  Or it could be that these mullet are desperately trying to escape hungry sharks.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.