windsor.ctvnews.ca video screenshot
39-year-old triathlete Matt Gervais was training with a friend for an upcoming event in Lake St. Clair when he was attacked by a muskie fish.
“It was a lot of pain [and] it hurt really bad, right away,” he told CTV News.
Matt is from Ontario, Canada, and said he learned a painful lesson about the marine animal after being bitten on the right hand. A picture was taken of him holding up his hand to show the damage after getting stitched up.
Matt told the Windsor Star, “Some crazy things have happened to me while training, but this is probably the craziest.”
Muskies have dangerously sharp teeth and can easily inflict major damage on a person. After Matt was bitten he was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he received 13 stitches and is still awaiting clearance to resume his training.
Matt reflected back on the attack and said he remembers looking at his hand when the fish bit him and it was still latched onto his hand.
“I caught it eye to eye, underwater with my goggles,” Matt said. When the fish let got of his hand, he said it saw the “carnage.”
According to Trevor Pitcher, a professor at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, the fish most likely mistook the triathlete’s hand for a small fish when it attacked him.
“The word ‘mistake’ is key because we’re very confident that they don’t intentionally bite people,” Mr. Pitcher said. “In reality it’s not very common so humans – and especially human flesh – [are] not part of the muskie diet.”
According to the International Game Fish Association, the world record for a muskie is 67 pounds, 8 ounces, and was caught at Lake Court Oreilles in Hayward, Wisconsin in 1949.