Fishing spiders taking Wisconsin lakes, social media by storm

CREATED Aug 26, 2014

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SHEBOYGAN FALLS - Along came a spider, and it was not itsy bitsy. 

Dozens of huge fishing spiders are turning up in southeastern Wisconsin, and they're becoming quite popular on social media. People have been posting photos of the creepy crawlers.
 
"It's big, definitely something to remember," says Paul Lee, who found one outside his office in Sheboygan Falls. "It was at least three inches long, and it had hair. It was pretty cool."
 
Fishing spiders are most prevalent near water, but can still be found inland as well. While these eight-legged camouflage creatures are not poisonous or harmful to humans, they can bite. They also don't build webs. Instead, they can walk on water, and hunt small fish and tadpoles to eat. 
 
According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), these fishing spiders are in their hatching season. Researchers don't know whether there's a population boom taking place, or whether people are just starting to notice them more.
 
Fishing spiders are native to Wisconsin. The DNR says If you find one, you don't need to report it, or kill it. You should just let it go on its way. Experts confirm they're more afraid of you than you are of them - now that's hard to believe.