Aquatic experts respond to presumed muskie attack - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Aquatic experts respond to presumed muskie attack

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DULUTH, MN -

Nine stitches later, 10-year-old Maren Kesselhorn of Duluth is recovering. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Kesselhorn was bit on the foot by what could have been a fish in Island Lake, just North of Duluth.

"I felt movement in the water and then I felt my whole foot in its mouth," Kesselhorn said.

Photos of the bite marks she received when paddle boarding, led doctors to believe her injuries could be from a muskie bite.

"A muskie is an animal that is an ambush predator, they hide in grass, they hide in weed beds and they wait for prey to swim by," Jay Walker with Great Lakes Aquarium said.

And 10-year-old Kesselhorn swam by at the wrong time.

"I was so terrified," she said.

While Walker said muskie attacks do occur, they aren't exactly common. 

"A lot of times where people are, you actually would scare this fish away," Walker said. 

If you were to come in contact with one, it could be painful.

"They do fight hard, so I think like all apex predators in a lake or river, they are pretty strong and aggressive fish," John Fehnel the owner of Great Lakes Fly Shop said. 

Walker said fighting back could cause more harm.

"When it becomes dangerous is when you pull, because you're basically pulling those teeth across your body," Walker said. 

Despite the muskie presence in Lake Superior, both Walker and Fehnel said the fish shouldn't deter people from summer swims.

"No, I would not at all be afraid to get in the water," Walker said. 

"The thing I always advise people is if you're on a lake or one a river is use your best caution, it's always better to be safe than sorry," Fehnel said. 

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