LORDSHIP SHARKS

October 12, 1822 - A WONDERFUL SHARK CAUGHT: While Mr. John Stratton, of Stratford, was fishing for sturgeon at the mouth of the Housatonic, in a canoe, he saw a monster making towards him, which he supposed, from his size, his mouth being open, to be the far-famed and long sought for sea serpent. He thought, as he himself states, that now was the time to immortalize himself. The monster advanced swiftly up, and when within proper distance, Mr. Stratton struck him with the harpoon (generally used in taking sturgeon) just at the back of the fins next the head, which occasioned him to alter his course speedily. He towed the canoe and three men with unparalleled swiftness half a mile, when, from loss of blood, they came up with him, gave him another harpoon, and hauled him alongside and with the assistance of a scow, which immediately came off from the shore with four men, they took him on board. He proved to be a shark, measuring from the extreme parts of his head and tail, 11 feet 6 inches, and 7 feet in circumference. A porpoise's head, was taken from his inside entire; a sheep's leg with the wool on, from the fore-shoulder down; a hen entire, with all its feathers on. 8 1/2 gallons of oil were extracted from his liver. His skin was sold for two dollars. His jaws were taken out, they contain five rows of ivory on each jaw, and can be drawn over the largest man's shoulder.

August 31, 1918: Twelve Foot 365 pound Shark taken in Net off Housatonic River: A huge shark, 12 feet long and weighing 365 pounds was captured in a large blue fish net near the mouth of the Housatonic River this morning. The voracious fish which had eaten most of the little blues that were in the net had become entangled in the meshes during the early morning hours and when first discovered by Howard and Arthur Hotchkiss was making the water white thrashing about in an effort to free itself. The shark which is large enough to be a man eater was caught in the net that the Hotchkiss brothers use for catching of blue fish and the men had anticipated a large catch of the little fish this morning but instead found the husky prize. It was necessary to use a large eel spear a number of times before the fish could be subdued and got into the boat. The shark took up almost all the room in the boat when it was finally pulled in. The shark was brought to Bonds dock where it was on exhibition for a number of hours. Late in the afternoon it was taken to Cooks Fish Market in Bridgeport. Two years ago a shark was caught in this same place. It caused a battle of three hours with two men before it could be subdued. That shark was somewhat larger than the one caught today.

1965Ray

October 19, 1921 - IS SIGHTED AT LORDSHIP: An eight foot shark was sighted off Lordship recently. Boatmen have also brought in reports of having sighted the "man-eaters" and their unmistakable triangular fin coursing the Sound waters. At Greenport fishermen recently took a 15-footer from their nets in which he had become entangled. Large schools of porpoises have also been seen lately.

August 15, 1928 - THREE LARGE SHARKS CAUGHT BY FISHERMAN OFF LORDSHIP: Three large sharks, one of them seven feet in length were captured in a net 300 feet of Lordship Beach last evening after a sharp battle with Bridgeport fisherman in which two other sharks tore their way through the nets to safety. Several bathers were witnesses to the catch made by a party of fishermen headed by Patsy Camerota of Bridgeport. The capture of the sharks was marked with a great display of excitement about the beach and a general exodus of swimmers from the water. The sharks which were captured measured seven, six and five feet in length and were brought ashore alive. Clubs and rocks were used by the captors and others to kill the sharks which are on display today at the city float near the Stratford Avenue Bridge. Contrary to reports it is not believed that the sharks are of the man eating species, but are sand sharks which frequent the waters of the Sound where they prey upon smaller fish for food. It is believed that the sharks flocked shoreward in search of food and there became entangled in the nets which were let out from a dory sailed by the fishermen. The capture was made shortly after 8 pm while the fishermen were seeking a catch of yellow fin. When Camerota attempted to draw in his nets, he encountered a stubborn resistance and called several of his companions to aid in the work. The five sharks began thrashing around in the water within the nets as the party pulled toward shore. In the ensuing battle in which the strength of several men was pitted against the efforts of the sharks to escape, two of the captives tore holes in the nets and swam to safety. The other three sharks had become so enmeshed in the network in their furious struggles that they could not free themselves. The sharks were landed and killed in the presence of a large crowd of bathers who refused to resume swimming to the Lordship waters last night.

August 11, 1958 - MAN REPORTS SEEING SHARK OFF STRATFORD: Frank Battista of Prospect Drive, Stratford, reported to Stratford police at 8:30 o'clock Saturday night that he had sighted a shark about 30 feet offshore in Long Island Sound at the foot of Ivy Street, which is situated at about the center of Russian Beach in Lordship.

September 6, 1961 - SHARKS REPORTED OFF LORDSHIP: Three 12 foot sharks were reportedly sighted off Lordship Beach in Stratford yesterday, but a police search failed to locate them. A report was received by police over shortwave by a pleasure craft, the Daybreak, at 4:30 pm. Stratford police notified the State police and George Underhill, an auxiliary patrolman, unsuccessfully cruised the waters off the beach in search of sharks. Milford police alarmed by the report drove up and down that city shoreline warning bathers of the reported sighting with loudspeakers. Authorities were unable to discover the home port of the Daybreak or the name of its owner.

August 21, 1962: SHARK REPORTED SEEN TWICE IN STRATFORD: A six-foot shark was reported sighted at the mouth of the Housatonic River twice yesterday by a Stratford fisherman. Louis Polseno, of 50 Grove Street, Stratford, told Stratford police he saw the shark off Stratford Lighthouse while he was fishing In a boat early yesterday morning. The shark came close to the surface, Mr. Polseno said, seized a large fish, and swam off. When Mr. Polseno went out to fish in the afternoon near the same spot, he again sighted the shark, which this time made a futile grab for a seagull floating on the waves. Mr. Polseno reported the sightings to Stratford police, who notified Harbormaster J. Fletcher Lewis and residents of Short Beach.

August 18, 1965: SHARKS IN SOUND: Watch out for sharks police told bathers and residents in Stratfords Lordship and Long Beach areas Tuesday. Police have urged that there be no swimming in the waters of Long Island Sound in those areas. Patrolmen reported having spotted as many as four sharks in an area at one time.

August 21, 1965: SHARKS AGAIN CLOSE LONG BEACH: Bathing was banned Friday at a second beach in this area after two sharks were sighted and one was wounded with a harpoon by a patrolman at Long Beach in Stratford. Bathing has been prohibited since Wednesday at Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport after police reported sighting of three sharks about 200 feet offshore. Stratford officials ordered Long Beach closed to swimmers after the sharks were sighted. Shortly afterward, Sergeant Anthony Bredice and Patrolman Rodney Desrosiers harpooned one of the fish, but it got away. Police then fired a high powered rifle and tore a chunk from the shark which appeared to sink to the bottom.

August 22, 1965 - RAY CAUGHT OFF LONG BEACH: Although there have been no sharks reported in the area for 48 hours, three Bridgeport men can testify there was a ray fish off the Lordship shorefront at Long Beach. For the better part of an hour yesterday afternoon, they battled with the fish which weighed in at 360 pounds and measured 11 feet long and five feet wide. With the catch are, left to right, Wilfred Chaisson, Albert Gionet and Lou M. Paolucci a student In the University of Bridgeport. They used a Spanish spear gun and had to shoot two spears into the fish before they could bring it ashore. They said it was the only one they saw in the area.

August 23, 1965 - SHARKS AT LONG BEACH: Councilman Walter J. Auger, Jr. says he doesn't blame the Democrats for the sharks which have appeared off Lordship and Long Beach his bailiwick, but he does know it is cutting into free time to make house to house calls on his constituents preparing for the October town election. Speaking of the sharks off Long Beach it should be pointed out that the policemen who are at the beach front and on the Police boat off shore are doing it on their own time for the most part am not on town time.

August 24, 1965 - STRATFORD REMOVES BEACH SWIMMING BAN: The ban on swimming at Long Beach and the Lordship shorefront was lifted this morning by Stratford Police Chief William J. Troland. Chief Troland, in making the announcement, said that although there have been no sharks reported in the area during the past four days, persons going into the water should use extreme caution. The ban on swimming was announced last week after sharks were reported in Long Island sound along the Stratford beaches.

Shark1916

Shark 1916

Shark1928

Sharks 1928

shark1936

Shark at Lordship 1936

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Shark at Lordship 1936

Porpoise1953

Porpoise

Stingray1965

Stingray 1965

Shark1987

Shark 1987

August 6, 1966 - SHARK REPORTED AT LONG BEACH: Sgt. Anthony Bredice of the Stratford Police department reported today that while he was diving for drowning victims at Long Beach Wednesday afternoon, he encountered a shark along a rock groin approximately 100 yards from shore and in the general area where the drowning victims were seen surface diving before they disappeared. Sgt. Bredice said he saw what he identified as a shark at a depth of eight feet. The visibility was poor; he said and was limited to five feet. The shark was within the visibility range. Sgt. Bredice was unable to determine the species, but the shark sighted was four-to-six feet long and had a prominent double tail fin. Its topside was dark colored black or blue and the underside was light, the sergeant said. As Sgt. Bredice swam at the eight foot depth with his Scuba diving equipment, he said the shark made no movement toward him, but appeared lethargic and was apparently staying still in the water when the observation was made.

August 6, 1966 - SHARK REPORTED OFF STRATFORD: Edwin Kepler, of Prospect Drive, Stratford, reported to Stratford police yesterday at 10:15 a.m. that he saw a shark or a porpoise in the water about 50 yards offshore. He told police that, as he and his daughter were walking along the shore in the water at low tide, he saw a fish with large dorsal fin circling them. He described the fish as being about five or six feet in length. As they walked toward shore, he told police the fish swam away.

August 25, 1969 - SHARK IS SIGHTED AT LONG BEACH: All swimmers were warned from the water at Long Beach, Stratford, yesterday at 5:15 p.m. when a lifeguard, Wayne Curtis, spotted a shark 50 yards off shore in the area, near the first jetty of the breakwater, according to Stratford police. Police and lifeguards also warned swimmers out of the water at Short Beach.

August 28, 1969: SHARK SIGHTING: Charlie Gandarillas of Naugatuck went fishing at Lordship in Stratford on Sunday. The fish weren't biting, but a shark almost did. A shark came in to where Charlie was fishing, circled around him, and then left. Needless to say, Charlie didn't stay around very long to see if it would come back for another visit.

August 6, 1975 - SHARKS ARE SIGHTED CIRCLING IN SOUND OFF LORDSHIP SEAWALL: Sharks were observed circling in the waters of Long Island sound off the Lordship seawall in Stratford last night, Stratford police said. Police were alerted that three dorsal fins were observed about 200 feet off the seawall near Skipper's restaurant by an unidentified man with field glasses at 8:15 p.m. Patrolman Jerome Supple checked and observed the three dorsal fins moving from 150 feet offshore to within two feet of the seawall, while the seawall was lined with approximately 50 people watching. Patrolman Brian Cody, also observing with field glasses, said the fins were gray in color and were all extending approximately one foot from the surface of the water.

August 30, 1987 - Three weeks ago, a fisherman, surf-casting for bluefish off rocks at Long Beach in Stratford, hauled in a 6-foot-long sand-bar shark. We have never had one reported that close before, said Capt. Harvey Maxwell of the Stratford Police Department. And about a week later, another shark was reported sighted offshore.

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