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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Eight-foot shark caught in the Potomac

By Lori Aratani

A Maryland fisherman says he caught an eight-foot shark while cruising on the Potomac River in St. Mary's County, NBC 4 reports.

And Willy Dean was smart enough to snap pictures.

Dean told NBC 4 that he put out a net Monday at Cornfield Harbor in the Potomac three miles north of Point Lookout hoping to catch cow-nosed rays for a Solomons Island marine biologist. When he checked the net Monday night everything seemed normal. But when he checked again Tuesday morning, he made a startling discovery: In the net was an eight-foot-long shark.

Read more about Willy Dean and his eight-foot shark at NBC 4.

shark

The shark was caught in Cornfield Harbor, Buzz's Marina said on its Web site. (Courtesy of Buzz's Marina)

shark

The bullshark measured 8-foot-1, the marina said. (Courtesy of Buzz's Marina)

By Lori Aratani  | September 2, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

Look! It's John Boehner!

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | September 2, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

On the Potomac? Cornfield Harbor is on the southernmost tip of Maryland, pretty much at the mouth of the Bay, I'd hardly call it the Potomac River.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | September 2, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising. Bulls are well known to swim far up brackish and freshwater bays and rivers. There are many examples of bullshark attacks and spottings 100-plus miles from the sea.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

DAH-dum! DAH-dum!! DAH-dum, DAH-dum, DAH-dum, DAH-dum, DAH-DUM!!!

Posted by: nan_lynn | September 2, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Hey look, what a beautiful creature! Let's kill it!"

Posted by: anonymous5 | September 2, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What a beautiful creature! Let's kill it!

Posted by: anonymous5 | September 2, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

And why did it have to die?

Posted by: DannyP1 | September 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The Lord called the poor thing home!

Posted by: ronjaboy | September 2, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

And why did it have to die?

Posted by: DannyP1 | September 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------

ummm, it's a "MANEATER".

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | September 2, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why did you have to kill the shark - this may explain why we do not see as many snakeheads in th Potomac. Poor shark!

Posted by: sun52shine | September 2, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

From Wiki: The bull shark is well known for its unpredictable, often aggressive behavior. Since bull sharks often dwell in shallow waters, they may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of shark, and, along with tiger sharks and great white sharks, are among the three shark species most likely to attack humans. Unlike most sharks, bull sharks tolerate fresh water and can travel far up rivers. They have even been known to travel as far up as Indiana in the Ohio River and Illinois in the Mississippi River.

Posted by: Jon27 | September 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

NO matter it's a great catch, rather un-expected one... But she should be allowed to go back home....

Posted by: shahzadraza | September 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

good job. You moronically killed another animal for no good reason.

Thanks for depleting the animal kingdom and taking photos to prove your ignorance.

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

NO matter it's a great catch, rather un-expected one... But she should be allowed to go back home....

Posted by: shahzadraza | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the American crocodile (20 ft long) is the bull shark's only predator that shares its range in fresh water. (wikipedia) Let's hope for crocodile sitings in the Potomac!

Roger, John Boehner is from Ohio, but the above (jon27) says that bull sharks are found in the Ohio RIVER as far inland as Indiana, so it's probably not him (though Boehner might be going national - yes, even to St Mary's). We may find out for sure when Congress reconvenes.


Posted by: dcc1968 | September 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Look! It's John Boehner!

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | September 2, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

===========================================

SOON TO BE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.....YEA!!!

HE WILL DRAIN THE SWAMP......PROSECUTE ALL THE DEMOCRATS

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | September 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Guess they didn't need a bigger boat...

Posted by: sarczm13 | September 2, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

good job. You moronically killed another animal for no good reason.
your ignorance.
Posted by: jackson641
-------------------
newsflash, tree hugger. A shark is not an animal.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | September 2, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse


good job. You moronically killed another animal for no good reason.

Thanks for depleting the animal kingdom and taking photos to prove your ignorance.

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM

******************************************

I thought that the MoCo cops plugged you at Discovery One yesterday afternoon.

First, the shark most certainly drowned in the net before it was discovered. Sharks must remain in motion to breathe.

Second, as others have noted here, the bullshark is one of the more dangerous species of sharks to human beings and has no natural predators in this area. If it wasn't already dead, then killing it would have been a prudent thing to do.

Posted by: hisroc | September 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The fisherman, Dean, is an utter POS. He was cited in early 2009 for poaching.

Posted by: IwanaGofishing | September 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Mercy, Iwanago, aren't you the charitable one, I guess you always drive 55 on the beltway, etc, and would rather eat Chinese catfish at a restaurant than US seafood. "An utter POS " ? Look in the mirror, my friend.

Posted by: trawler | September 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

good job. You moronically killed another animal for no good reason.
your ignorance.
Posted by: jackson641
-------------------
newsflash, tree hugger. A shark is not an animal.
------------------------------
Really? Please confirm you're a complete jackhole and tell me you're confusing "animal" with "mammal". Last I checked fish were considered animals, d- bag.

Posted by: sickofit66 | September 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey all you wimp libs the shark tastes like chicken!

Posted by: FLvet | September 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

My first thought was " and they had to kill it?" I don't know the circumstances of its' death and the reporter didn't say. yes moronic pos whatever that is seems to apply!

Posted by: sharklovingtreehugger | September 2, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

newsflash, silenceknownothing. A shark IS an animal. Does it look like a freaking plant to you? A fungus?

Sweet jaysus. Not only dumb as a brick but aggressive about it, too.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"A shark is not an animal"?

So, I guess sharks are members of the plant kingdom, maybe?

Posted by: jobro1 | September 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the loss of one bull shark isn't going to adversely affect the biological balance too significantly.
However...as for the fishermen involved...don't they look like a bunch of Scholastic Quiz alums?
I love animals too...they're delicious!

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 2, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Mammal: Mammals are living organism that are warm-blooded, and belong to class of higher vertebrates whose bodies are covered with hair, who give birth to live young, and feed them with milk from mammary glands.
Fish: Fishes are mostly cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates that have (or may not have) scales, breathe through their gills and are equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired ones.

The breathing mechanism of mammals and fishes are different. Mammals have lungs, and the ones living in water draw their air into the lungs by breathing through the 'blowhole', an adapted nostril on top of their head every time they come to the surface. Underwater mammal, hold their breath to keep the blowhole closed to stop water from getting into the lungs. Fishes on the other hand, have gills and not lungs, which allows them to breathe oxygen directly from water without any need to surface. The fish takes water through its mouth, pushing it over the gills and back out through the gill slits. The oxygen enters the blood vessels after being filtered by the gills. Sharks do not have lungs, but have between five and seven gill openings!!!!!

I agree bigdaddy651

Posted by: nikkixokristine | September 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, more likely than not the shark was dead when they found it in the net.

For the most part, if a shark becomes entangled and stuck in a fishing net it will die fairly soon afterwords as they asphyxiate (unless they are in a strong current they need to swim to keep water & oxygen flowing through their gills).

Posted by: sasparilla256 | September 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

newsflash, tree hugger. A shark is not an animal.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns
____________________

What is this, an excerpt from Monty Python & the Holy Grail? Are you saying the shark is a witch?

I don't think that word ("not") means what you think it means.

Posted by: Oogalaboogala | September 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"newsflash, tree hugger. A shark is not an animal."

-------------------

Sheesh, ten years of targeting things like Shark Week to your average American imbicile like "silencedogoodreturns" and they still remain as ignorant as the day they were born.

Oh well...

Posted by: ibc0 | September 2, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The shark died in the net, it's not like they had a choice once they saw what they caught.

Posted by: HardyW | September 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Tough luck WaPo, this story was on NBC Washington's site yesterday afternoon. As usual WaPo fails.

Posted by: jakeyrotten | September 2, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Sharks in the Potomac? This is just further proof that global warming is an elaborate hoax!

Posted by: Gurduloo | September 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but this sounds 'fishy' to me. Sharks in the Potomac? Did anyone actually see him retrieve the net from the water?

Posted by: saktor | September 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Catch and release alive everything you will not eat.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | September 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Catch and release alive everything you will not eat.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | September 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Catch and release alive everything you will not eat.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | September 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Look! It's John Boehner!
------------------------------
A snark shark perhaps? But then this critter dosen't look like he's seen the inside of a tanning salon.

Posted by: dldbug | September 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

And why did it have to die?

Posted by: DannyP1

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sharks tend to die when caught in nets.

Posted by: flonzy1 | September 2, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, stupid comment season. Let's bring in Discovery jokes and make fun of people who don't like killing animals. Drill, buttheads, drill.

Posted by: chris41 | September 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jaws was patterned on shark attacks that occurred far inland one summer in New Jersey about 100 years ago. The shark captured fits the description of what terrorized people then. And even though the place they caught it was close to the bay, the upper bay is a far distance from the ocean down in Virginia Beach.

I once saw a shark in the water in Virginia Beach. It was about 18 inches... wide.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 2, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I thought Nancy Pelosi was in California this week. What was she doing in Maryland, and why is she hanging upside down on a rope?

Posted by: WildBill1 | September 2, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Crazy.

Has to be the unusually warm water/weather. Bull sharks are not usually this far north, especially in the Chesapeake Bay.

But in all seriousness. Bull sharks are THE MOST DANGEROUS sharks on the East Coast, by far. Down in FL they will hunt in as little as 24" of water. Yeah, Tigers, Makos, and Great Whites are most dangerous, but Bulls are much more plentiful. Not even endangered. No worries on losing this one.

If you want some late night excitement, go surf fishing in Ocean City after sundown. We routinely catch sharks 4ft long and then some.

If people only knew how many big sharks are running around...

Posted by: keithrjackson | September 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

lemme get and a lemme catch a shark

Posted by: terpterror21 | September 2, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, "most certainly" it was drowned. But, when in doubt, let's keep it ensnared and get out the cameras. Pass me the Bud Light and get out the Kodak and get me WaPo's number.

Yes, it is dangerous, as you know we had one bull shark killing in 1822, let's stomp on it like snakes we search for and find on Grandma's farm. This is "prudent". In fact, let's kill all animals we deem dangerous; we are clearly the superior animal in the food chain and we have the God-given right to deem what deserves to live. As you know, "This is a prudent thing to do"

Let's equate all people that don't like to see bloody animals killed for sport, photographed and played up like it is cool with a deranged Cho-like wacko who tormented Discover.

I am hisroc. My ignorance made me post this:

"First, the shark most certainly drowned in the net before it was discovered. Sharks must remain in motion to breathe.

Second, as others have noted here, the bullshark is one of the more dangerous species of sharks to human beings and has no natural predators in this area. If it wasn't already dead, then killing it would have been a prudent thing to do. "

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

So here's some liberal-to-moderate wisdom...

Had this creature snacked on the leg of someone's child while they sat off the edge of their father's boat, the local government would have hunted and killed this shark anyhow. Which would bring us to this exact same result. It's really tough to catch a shark and keep it alive anyhow.

I am against cruelty to animals, but am more in favor of preserving human life. Get a grip and stop whimpering.

...and I am still voting democrat in the upcoming. So there!

Posted by: ericroks | September 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

For those who ask why its dead... Sharks need to keep water pumping through the gills. As soon as it was caught in the net, its death warrant was signed. It suffocated itself. Goo

Posted by: mjc3 | September 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Once again every body wants to be an amateur fish and game manager. Why not let the fish and game people do the job they were trained to do instead of passing amateur judgement and turning this into a political foot ball.

Posted by: Slager21 | September 2, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we know bullsharks swim in rivers. Why is it's dead body hanging there should be the question. Poor thing. Humans don't belong in the water.

Posted by: Roxy8149 | September 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

bull sharks are f'ing a**holes that attack and eat anything. they make great whites look like house pets. let them die.

Posted by: chillsonic | September 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The Willy Dean in the Post story that caught the bull shark is the same person who poached $70,000 worth of striped bass from the Potomac and got caught ....one of the infamous Lacey Act nine who will face revocation of their commercial fishing priviledges before the PRFC on Sept 9th.

Posted by: curly5 | September 2, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with allowing the beautiful share to live? Stupid humans have to kill everything that crosses their path. The fishermen certainly look like shallow end of the gene pool specimens for sure.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | September 2, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Bull sharks can establish breeding populations in fresh water. Lake Nicaragua has a pretty famous population:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark

I'm a tree-hugging Nature Boy and I'm not disturbed that this shark can now be used for fish bait or other suitable purposes.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 2, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The shark wasn't already dead, according to the article... the fisherman said he fought it for most of the morning.

Posted by: mcdonough2 | September 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Catch and release....that is the best way to fish. Let them live to fight another day. There was no purpose to killing this animal other than a photo opportunity.

Posted by: Ddad99 | September 2, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

To everyone saying "but why did the shark have to die???" you should look into shark anatomy. Though Bull sharks are one of a select group of shark species able to survive for a short period without moving continually they can only do so for a SHORT period. As this shark was caught in a net it most likely died of suffocation, as evidenced by the bright red coloration of it's face in photo number 1.

Posted by: twist9 | September 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

You're right, we should allow bullsharks to roam the potomac freely. Same for snakeheads in our lakes and black widows in our homes. Get some kids and then talk to me. On second thought, don't procreate, please!!!

Posted by: jwm1974 | September 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

From WTOP:

"We had an interesting morning bringing it in," Dean told Channel 4. "It was quite a fight."

The shark is currently stored in Dean's freezer, but he's thinking about mounting the head.
=================================
Clearly he saved us from the risk of being killed - as a species, we have to be "prudent" and not risk the one in 9.3 million chance.

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse


This shark didn't die because it was stuck in a net.

Look at it's mouth, it was covered in blood. Meaning it was beaten to death once it was pulled out of the water. Or speared and we couldn't see it.

It's sad, this is a reflection of the people we are. Well some of us are.

Others would rather release it,

Posted by: DannyP1 | September 2, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@ jwm1974 you said Get some kids and then talk to me. On second thought, don't procreate, please!!!"

-------------------

If you want to be part of the natural world you need to play by it's rules. If the shark ate a kid that's just the way it's supposed ot be. Unfortunate but natural!

Posted by: DannyP1 | September 2, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

LOL -- people are SURPRISED? Hey they don’t seem to understand that there are (fossilized) Sharks Teeth near Solomons Island for a REASON!!! Them sharkies didn’t decide to give up swim away becuz 3,000 years ago civilization was about to build townhouses (well, thatched huts) and move in.

Posted by: bronxace | September 2, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

These are the type of humans that made Lee give his life in Silver Spring.

Posted by: coqui44 | September 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the shark did not die in the net, it was killed by Dean. From the News4 web site:

Whatever kind of shark it was, Dean knows two things: it had a heck of a lot of teeth, and it didn't go out easily.

"We had an interesting morning bringing it in," Dean said. "It was quite a fight."

Once the shark was captured, the next question was: What the heck do you do with it?

"I am probably going to have it mounted, maybe the head," Dean said. "Right now, the shark's in the freezer."

Posted by: OnlineID | September 2, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Look at all of the Land Sharks who operate in view of the Potomac. This shark is in good company.

This year we need to vote out all Land Sharks (incumbents) out of Congress from both parties.

Posted by: alance | September 2, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

jackson641,

May we assume that you are an ethical vegan? That you don't consume any meat, fish, eggs, cheese or other animal products?

Otherwise, shut the hell up, moron.

Posted by: hisroc | September 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

WAS is Muslim or Christian?

Where is nutcase Beck when you really need him?

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 2, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Look! Its Michelle Obama - WITH her make up on.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | September 2, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

No hisroc, I am not a vegetarian, but I don't kill animals to mount their heads, I eat them.

Nor do I get off on trapping animals and displaying their pelts.

And I don't tell people it is "prudent" to kill bull sharks because they are dangerous when the chance of being killed by one is maybe 1 in 10 million.

this is one of the most foolish statements I have seen in a long time, other than, "Mission Accomplished":

"If it wasn't already dead, then killing it would have been a prudent thing to do."

Like Ken Starr advising someone on how to manage their love life.

And then you went on and postulated, like a little kid, that it would have died anyway when it was killed in a supposed "tough fight" that was clearly one-sided in favor of an ignorant attention-starved hick.

==========

jackson641,

May we assume that you are an ethical vegan? That you don't consume any meat, fish, eggs, cheese or other animal products?

Otherwise, shut the hell up, moron.

Posted by: hisroc | September 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

RogerRamjet2 sez-

Look! It's John Boehner!

Nope- It's Prissy, "Botox" Pelosi. Maryland is a lib-retard state. Look at Chris Van Hollen. Van Hollen makes Steny Hoyer look like a conservative!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | September 2, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

jackson641,

Why are you trying to equate me with Bush Republicans? Is that anything less than a desperate attempt on your part to change the subject and to demonize me?

You are an incredible hypocrite. You think that you can pick and choose your cases of moral outrage? It is okay to eat factory-farm meat but it is not okay to kill a dangerous predator?

You are pathetic.

Posted by: hisroc | September 2, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

good job. You moronically killed another animal for no good reason.

Thanks for depleting the animal kingdom and taking photos to prove your ignorance.

Posted by: jackson641 | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

These guys went out with Marine Biologist collecting Skate for a study. That information in online if you care to look, the WP should have mentioned that. You assume wrong my man.

Posted by: MajorFacemask | September 3, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

A body of water is considered 'freshwater' when the salt content is .5 parts per thousand or less. Water is considered brackish when it is above .5 parts/1000 up to or less than 29 parts/1000. The Chesapeake Bay, in the fall, has 10 to 20 parts of salt per thousand (thus is considered brackish) well above Annapolis, to Gibson Island. That same saltiness is in the Potomac River to above the Rte. 301 bridge.

Not real surprising that a shark that can live in salt, brackish or freshwater would be found so 'far up the Bay'.

To see a map of Bay salinity in Spring and Fall, click:
http://www.cbf.org/Page.aspx?pid=943

If you click that link, you'll see that even in spring, it would not be out of the question that a shark that can live in salt, brackish or fresh water would be spotted in at least certain parts of the Potomac River.

Posted by: critter69 | September 3, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Just a thought- it isn't right that most things we fear, get killed bc of our fear, but this may not have been the case. If this shark was tangled in nets, and it was hard to bring in, you can imagine the wounds it may suffer as result. Like rope burn to a human. We don't know when or how it died, but we cannot assume and then treat our assumptions as reality. Yes, it was bloody, but that could be from the fight to get the net in. It is almost impossible to free sharks from nets bc you can't really get close enough without getting yourself hurt. On another note, go to ask.com and ask "what do bull sharks eat". Most of the things they eat are to the medium and large side. Do we REALLY have enough of what they DO eat to sustain them? I think that there would be a much higher possibility of a person being attacked. It is summer and many are in the water. I know my boys and I go out in my father in laws boat and hop out for a swim. Scary... but if it got worse, I would rather just keep them out of the water. You can't (or shouldn't) kill all the sharks. But in this case, this was a large fish that was caught. Does the manual say you have to throw it back?

Posted by: segerbrenda | September 3, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Working with/for a marine biologist? w/out a camera? this shark did not need to die for a photo op.

Posted by: sunnycc | September 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

This planet is the home of all it's inhabiting beings. I take issue with the cause of the shark's death. The callous death of the shark should not shock & sadden me, after reflecting on some of the hate and trash talk I was surprised to see in this blog. Try to stick with healthy debate. If some of feel you must spew your poison, do it elsewhere. Please get professional assistance, today.

Posted by: sunnycc | September 3, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

A shark in the Potomac?

And all the libtards brayed, "it's ALL Bush's fault!"

Eff the 'tards.

Posted by: starguy | September 3, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

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