The Queensland Government is warning people not to swim in canals, muddy river mouths or beaches with murky water, amid fears of an increase in bull shark activity.

Torrential rainfall from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has flushed debris and soil run-off into the water, attracting the dangerous sharks to feed in river mouths and estuaries.

Queensland’s shark control program manager Jeff Krause says people should not tempt fate.

“No definitely not, we’re quite opposed to people swimming in man-made waterways such as canals and lakes and what have you because it is a natural environment for bull sharks and as we all know they’re quite a dangerous shark and it’s just not worth swimming in those waterways,” he said.

“When we get a lot of run-off, especially from the huge amounts of rain we’ve had recently, bull shark activity increases.

“It’s their preferred environment – turbid or murky water – along the coastline and in estuaries, so we advise people, just hold off going for a swim.”