Sharks sighted along Oregon coast, police issue warning

A shark warning sign alongside a photo of Ecola State Park, located just north of Cannon Beach. (Sign image from Oregon State Police, photo of Indian Beach by Chelsea Rutherford)

CANNON BEACH, Ore. – Shark sightings in the Cannon Beach area have prompted police to issue a warning to beach-goers.

Cannon Beach Police said they’ve had reports of people seeing shark dorsal fins along the coastline.

The Oregon State Parks Dept. said a surfer at Ecola State Park reported seeing a dorsal fin in the water Tuesday. It was reported to the Seaside Fire Department, who notified State Parks staff.

Warning signs were posted and will likely remain for several weeks.

Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife fisheries biologist Lynn Mattes told KATU shark sightings are not uncommon on the Oregon Coast, nor is she surprised.

"Sharks are going to follow food," Mattes said. "This time of the year salmon are moving inshore. You will get, sometimes, Great White sharks or salmon sharks, which are close relatives of each other. You will see them coming a little more near shore as they follow the salmon or other schooling fish."

Mattes said there are more than 13 different shark species that populate the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast.

Last year, a shark attacked a man who was surfing at Ecola State Park, which is just north of Cannon Beach.

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