Lake Champlain Monster

The legend of Champy

Lake Champlain's outflow today travels by way of the Richelieu River, north to the St. Lawrence River confluence which then routes toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic ocean. Access to Champlain from the ocean is still possible although travel would be hindered against the outflow of Lake Ontario and Richelieu river. The trip also means overcoming Chambly rapids, a dangerous section of Richelieu with shallow areas capable of producing surf-sized waves during annual spring melt. Although Lake Champlain's history gives plausible explanation of how a giant sea creature or surviving dinosaur might be making the lake its home, scientists still believe the scenario is unlikely. Eyewitnesses and marine biologists are aware of the presence of large lake sturgeon in various parts of Champlain. Sturgeon are prehistoric looking with rows of protruding bone plates, and can grow up to nine feet long over a life span of roughly 100 years, making it an ideal explanation to Champy sightings. Except, Champy reports often sing to a different tune. A reptile-like monster, between 25 to 30 foot long, serpent features, head the shape of a horse, a scale-like appearance - Indicating Champ is something entirely different altogether.

Witnesses say they know exactly what sturgeon look like, claiming Champ is definitely not a sturgeon. Hundreds of reported sightings have occurred since Samuel de Champlain first charted the lake and it was his sighting in 1609 to become the first documented record to our knowledge. Prior to Champlain's discovery, as he soon learned, the local Iroquois and Abenaki Indians already had names for this mysterious water monster, calling it Chousarou or Taoskok. In Iroquoian mythology there are references to the Horned-Serpent, a water creature both rancorous and pleasant depending on the situation, and responsible for creating storms above the lakes.

Champie is one of the more popularized sea monster legends in America and, there are others. On the western coast, not far from the Canadian border, is an inlet water system channeling the Pacific Ocean around Vancouver Island. In this waterway are many islands, a unique ecosystem, and several sightings over the last two centuries of an unknown animal referred to as Cadborosaurus willsi.

Continue reading: American Encounters