LifestyleGuitarfish sightings delight Woodgate locals

Guitarfish sightings delight Woodgate locals

guitarfish Woodgate
Jeremy Chaseling took this shot of a guitarfish in Woodgate this week.

While the sight of a fin coming out of the ocean is enough to send swimmers paddling to land, when that fin belongs to a large guitarfish it's instead an exciting moment for those in Woodgate.

Large groups of the sea creatures have recently been spotted in the shallows, with wildlife enthusiasts and photographers enjoying the spectacle.

Resident Wayne Langley captured drone footage of the animals feeding near the boat ramp and said it made for an incredible sight.

“The fish are white-spotted shovel nosed rays, commonly called guitarfish or also known as shovel-nosed sharks, although they are a member of the ray family,” he said.

“They were most likely searching for food close to the shore; bait fish, crustaceans on the sandy bottom.

“I have only been here less than 12 months and this is the first time I have seen them, but longtime locals say they are a common occurrence.”

guitarfish Woodgate
Wayne Langley captured this photo of Jeremy Chaseling swimming near a giant guitarfish in Woodgate yesterday.

Holidaymaker Jeremy Chaseling has also been keeping an eye on the animals and said he and a local family were involved in a mini rescue mission yesterday.

“They are always around at this time of year but what was interesting yesterday is that we found a deeper pool of water surrounded by sandbank that they were sitting in, and it was obvious they were going to get stuck as the tide was going out,” he said.

“I went around and took my GoPro with me and sussed them out- there were some bigger ones, about three metres long.

“Two of them decided it was time to leave through the shallower section but we had to help the others.

“We didn't want to touch them so we just herded them in the right direction.”

guitarfish Woodgate
A drone shot by Jeremy Chaseling of groups of guitarfish at Woodgate.

Jeremy said he had been holidaying in Woodgate for many years and guitarfish were spotted regularly.

“I have seen them in Woodgate before; I am actually riding along the beach right now and I can see about six of them in the shallows,” he said.

“During November and December they migrate north through here, it is so cool.

“At first when you look at them you might think they are a shark.

“They don't really care for people, the worst they can do is swim into you accidentally.

“The biggest thing is to just respect them and don't get in front of them, just let them be.”

guitarfish Woodgate
Jeremy Chaseling took this shot of a guitarfish in Woodgate this week.