Sharks confirmed lurking in Chipping Norton Lake

You may have heard horror stories of sharks swimming below the Georges River’s surface from bygone years.

But recent reports have confirmed multiple sightings as far inland as Chipping Norton Lake.

Over the past week, there has been three bull shark sightings reported to a nation-wide app that tracks sightings.

The first at the lake was at about 5.30pm last Monday, then at 1pm on the Wednesday and again at 7am in a waterway adjacent to the lake on Saturday.

Green Valley resident Peter Dean made Wednesday’s grisly discovery while he was jet-skiing on the lake.

“Me and my mate were out on the water and we have come around a bend and saw it about seven metres off the shoreline near the beach,” Mr Dean said.

Close call: Green Valley resident Peter Dean spotted the dorsal fin of a bull shark  while jet-skiing at the lake, on Wednesday.

Close call: Green Valley resident Peter Dean spotted the dorsal fin of a bull shark while jet-skiing at the lake, on Wednesday.

“I saw the fin and saw it flap around in the water. It was a massive shock, we immediately went over to the boat ramp and got out of the water.

“We usually go jet-skiing at the lake every weekend but this was the first time I’ve seen a shark there – it’s actually the first time I’ve seen a shark in my life.”

Mr Dean said seeing the shark was not going to stop him from going out on the water.

“It’s not going to stop me from jet-skiing,” he said.

“I’m not going to let it scare me.”

Dorsal Shark Reports admin and former Smithfield resident Tony Anstee said it was not uncommon to see sharks travelling upstream along rivers and waterways.

High alert: It is being alleged that breeding season has lured bull sharks into taking residency in Chipping Norton Lake.

High alert: It is being alleged that breeding season has lured bull sharks into taking residency in Chipping Norton Lake.

“There are some interesting historical stories from people losing dogs or seeing dogs taken in the past,” he said.

“Because I grew up in the area I knew there were sharks in that section of the river, but I also knew that people would assume that there weren’t.

“Every time we have a report in a river or a lake people are often surprised because it is not right near an estuary or the ocean.”

Mr Anstee said a main objective of the app’s reporting system was to address the common “false sense of security” many people have. 

“I now live in the Gold Coast and the last two shark attacks we had were actually in canals,” he said.

“We just want to make people aware that bull sharks can also live in fresh water, they have a salt duct in their tail and they can adjust the amount of salt that goes through their system.

“This is the time of year where they come [upstream] to feed and breed.

“Through protection efforts shark numbers are increasing so these instances are going to become more prevalent in the future.”

  • To make a report online or download the Dorsal Shark Reports app: go to, dorsalapp.com.
Danger in the water: People are being urged not to swim in Chipping Norton Lake after multiple shark sightings over the past week. Picture: Simon Bennett.

Danger in the water: People are being urged not to swim in Chipping Norton Lake after multiple shark sightings over the past week. Picture: Simon Bennett.

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