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Frankenfish with claws? Lobsters found in Potomac River

Thursday - 2/24/2011, 7:56am  ET

lobster in Potomac (Courtesy of Kendra McMurray)
Here's what the lobsters looked like over the weekend. (Courtesy of Kendra McMurray)
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Neal Augenstein,

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- Frankenfish with claws? Lobsters. Yes, lobsters have been seen in the fresh waters of the Potomac River.

The lobsters have been seen at Leesylvania State Park.

"It's definitely something you don't see everyday," says Kendra McMurray who saw them over the weekend.

"The odd thing is they were in perfect formation, lined up on the sand along with blue crabs and huge clams. It was puzzling to say the least.

"There were some feisty crabs out there, and at least one of the lobsters were still living when we approached them. My main concern was that their claws were free," McMurray tells WTOP in an e-mail.

Virginia state biologists say somebody is obviously releasing the saltwater crustaceans into the water.

Park rangers tell InsideNova it's a Chinese custom to release crustaceans back into the water after the new year.

The lobsters, likely released live, died once they were put in the water.

State biologists say there's concern the lobsters could carry parasites that would survive and cause disease in the river.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. You can follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)