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A “Sea Serpent” in Okanagan Lake?

In 1896 an elderly French cook by the name of Frank “Frenchy” Stevens, who often stayed with Northcote Caesar, was fishing off the Island* when he saw a sea serpent very close to the boat. He described it as being about 20 feet long with a head like a sheep.

Caesar wrote “we did not believe much in his story and chaffed him a lot, but this serpent was seen later by others … and described in exactly the same way with almost identical words. So I think there must be something of that sort in the Lake.” 

About a hundred years ago [ca. 1918], pioneer Denbei Kobayashi, a Japanese immigrant, reported finding a large carcass washed up on the Island. The amateur photographer took pictures of the dead animal, but unfortunately the photos were destroyed when the family’s basement flooded. His son Sigh recalled that “the pictures showed the skeleton of a lingcod which was 19 feet long. He knew it was a lingcod because he used to catch them all the time.”

Could this be an early origin story about Ogopogo’s presence in Okanagan Lake?

 *Nahun Wenox (later named Whiskey Island, Grant Island, Gull Island — see earlier blog post), an island in Okanagan Lake by Carr’s Landing.

Source: Baughen, Penny. Carr’s Landing. A History. Vernon, BC: Carr’s Landing Community & Recreation Association, 2006.


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