We may not have to worry about sharks in Ontario’s waters, but it turns out that there are other unlikely predators lurking in our lakes. Experienced triathlete Matt Gervais was out for a swim with a friend in Lake St. Clair earlier this month when out of nowhere, a fish tried to take a bite out of his hand.
In an interview with CBC News, Gervais said the attack was so unexpected, he almost thought it was a shark. “Your mind goes immediately to shark, but I still had my wits about me to know that was unlikely,” he said.
“We got five or six minutes into the swim and that’s when it happened. I got, I guess you could say attacked by a very large fish,” said Gervais, who assumes that the fish in question was a Muskie.
Gervais said the fish clamped down on his hand while he was mid-stroke, and he reached over and pulled it off of him when he realized what was going on. He said he “met eye to eye” with it before it darted off. “The whole thing lasted about five seconds, but it was sharp, intense pain right away, disbelief as to what had just happened.”
The swimmer told CBC that he was treated with 13 stitches on his fingers. “I know that it was a freak occurrence, we all know that there’s things out there, but it’s a lightning strike kind of thing, but hopefully, it doesn’t strike twice.”
Gervais said he doesn’t recall doing anything in particular to provoke the attack, but his advice to the public is never to swim alone. For the record, he doesn’t hold a grudge against the Muskie either.
This wouldn’t be the first time this summer that creatures unleashed their wrath on innocent Canadians. Provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba are digging themselves out of a sticky and relentless “poop rain” problem thanks to large amounts of “tree lice” descending on the Prairies.