“Spotted this very large animal(?) swimming quite fast across Kamloops Lake. It is approximately 1km away from me here.”
No, it’s not Nessie … didn’t you read the headline? Jeff Putnam, the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kamloops in south-central British Columbia tweeted a picture of something too far away to identify, but whose wake told him it was unlike anything natural or manmade he was used to seeing in Kamloops Lake. Ogopogo?
"I noticed quite a large wake in the middle of the lake and it's quite wide. It wasn't a kayaker. It was some sort of creature, animal, fish. I'm not exactly sure, but it was moving about the same pace as [a] kayaker and it had quite a wake behind it."
CBC News reports that Putnam snapped the picture while visiting a friend building a house overlooking Kamloops Lake and, despite being the Director of Parks and Recreation responsible for the lake, had no idea what it might be. (See the picture and tweet here). Rather than call for an investigation, he posted the pic on Twitter and asked for help.
“Ogopogo wanted a change of scenery.”
As with the Loch Ness monster, any creature spotted in a Canadian lake is automatically assumed to be Ogopogo or a relative. Ogopogo is the mythical monster allegedly living in Okanagan Lake in British Columbia that is rumored to be up to 50 feet (15 meters) long and resembling extinct elongated water creatures like the Basilosaurus or Mosasaurus. That description most likely came from non-natives since the First Nations peoples thought of it more like a water spirit.
Ogopogos have never been reported in Kamloops Lake, but the book “Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology” lists a 1966 sighting by two witnesses of an “8-10 foot animal with two humps at the east end of the lake.” With no other reported sightings, the speculators on Putnam’s Twitter feed and on the CBC article settle on the creature being a giant white sturgeon, which many local fishermen claim to have seen and caught in Kamloops Lake, even though fisherman Regan Birch, who is one of them, says there are plenty of doubters, including the Fish and Wildlife Branch.
"By the way, both of those lakes, Kamloops and Osoyoos, we were told there's no sturgeon in those lakes."
Kamloops is a deep lake fed by both the North and South Thompson rivers and is a warm lake, making it attractive for boating, fishing and water recreation, but not so great for monsters or white sturgeons, which generally prefer rivers to lakes. So, what is creating the large wake in Jeff Putnam’s photo? He has a theory.
“I do have a plausible theory about this fast-moving creature … will share my thoughts soon. In the meantime I’m buying some binoculars and will remain on the watch.”
Sounds like a Director of Parks and Recreation trying to drum up more tourism business.