Lake monster fever spreads in B.C. Interior

Lake monster fever spreads in B.C. Interior

A recent reported sighting of Ogopogo on Skaha Lake in the Okanagan Valley prompted two Shuswap men to speak up about their experience near Salmon Arm in March with Shuswaggi.

Source: Global News

If you’ve never heard of Shuswaggi, you’re not alone.

As far as lake monsters go, Ogopogo has cast some pretty significant shade on mysterious lake creatures around the world.

And after a extended siesta in its Okanagan Lake underwater cavern that’s said to be somewhere around Rattlesnake Island, the elusive celebrity was reportedly seen down-channel in Skaha Lake.

(Nicely played, oh green one… keeping it unreal, as usual…)

Video of the apparent sighting went viral and when two Shuswap Lake fishermen saw it, something looked very familiar.

“It looked identical to what we saw!” Les Loren said of their experience that was caught on video on March 23 at Murdoch Point.

Loren and his friend Brodie Blair were filming another episode of Two Guys With Flies for their Facebook page when they encountered a real show stopper.

“Out of the blue from behind us, what we heard was almost like the breach of a whale, like the water coming out of its spout,” Loren told Global News. “As I was videoing my buddy here fishing I turned the camera around and I started videotaping what we thought was… it was really weird like waves… but you could see the shininess of the humps.”

On the video, Blair could be heard calling what they’re seeing ‘The Shuswaggi’.

He said another friend had his own experience with the Shuswap lake monster in 2008 and they did some research, leading them to the legendary creature’s pet name.

“While many note that the first “official” sighting of Shuswaggi … didn’t take place until 1984, there have been a few documented encounters with an unknown thing in the water that go all the way back to the early 1900’s,” Adam Benedict wrote about the Shuswap legend on his website

Benedict, whose website is described as an online cryptozoological, Midwest folklore, and historic Fortean newspaper reference site, believes the name Shuswaggi is a variant of a Salish word that “roughly translates to ‘Water Bear’,” he said.

If there is a creature roaming deep lakes like Shuswap and Okanagan lakes in the B.C. Interior, Benedict’s theory is it could be a cousin of the Zeuglodon (also known as Basilosaurus), which “was a species of ancient whale that went extinct nearly 34 million years ago.”

The wave, the rogue wave scientists like to describe now as an ‘Ogopogo Wave’, breached in the middle of a calm Shuswap Lake, Loren said.

“We were the only ones on the lake that day. It was beautiful out. The lake was nice and shiny.”

The men said the 30-foot-long creature circled to the beach where the water became turbulent.

“The last sighting was right on the shoreline and it was just spinning and turning the water like a current,” Blair said.

Loren described it as “some sort of feeding frenzy.”

The pair said they let Shuswaggi do its ‘thing’ and they went on fishing.

“Nothing stops us from going out there,” Loren said.

They plan on keeping their camera rolling while on the lake in the hopes of seeing it again soon.

For the rest of us, we can be armchair Ogopogo spotters on social media because the Okanagan’s lake monster, at least, has a Twitter account.

The Shuswaggi? Zero accounts, zero followers.


Shuswaggi better start hustling in the marketing department, as well. It’s missing out on a ton of royalties during tourism season.

Because if you don’t visit the Okanagan and leave with some Ogopogo swag, can you really say you’ve been here?

David Aragorn

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