Giant, fish-eating spider sighted in Wisconsin

CREATED Aug 22, 2014

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GREEN BAY - The state DNR posted a picture on Facebook Thursday of an enormous, terrifying spider, asking whether people have seen it. So, what's the deal? Is this the stuff of nightmares? 

It turns out, not at all.
"Fishing spiders are one of our native species of spider," explained Linda Williams, a forest health specialist w the state DNR in Green Bay. "Most people never see fishing spiders because they're very well camouflaged, but they're out there hunting."
And just what are they hunting? Insects, among other things.
"They're one of our large spiders, so they can feed on small fish, very very small fish, as well as tadpoles.  Sometimes, they'll eat slugs."
Fishing spiders can sit on top of the water, grab small fish and then eat them. 
"It's really kind of unique. We don't have a lot of spiders that are capable of doing that," said Williams.
The spiders are not dangerous to humans. They won't bite, unless you provoke them. 
"If you are to get bitten, it would feel like something probably less than a bee sting. It would be your average spider bite." 
The spiders typically hang around lakes and streams, but they can range inland for a mile or more. If you do come across one, you should just let it go on its way. If it's in your home or garage, you can just take it outside.
If you're brave enough, that is.