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Descriptions of Ogopogo

Ogopogo has been described as being between 6 to 20 metres in length, black to tan in colour with a characteristic snake-like body with some eyewitnesses describing appendages, others not. There have been sightings both in and out of the water. Even with all of these sightings over the years, much of the hard evidence such as photos, videos, film footage, etc. has been less than conclusive, yet the credibility of eye witnesses suggests that Lake Okanagan could indeed be home to an entire species of unknown aquatic animals!

Sightings over the years

Native folklore specifically places the lair of the lake monster which they called N'ha-a-itk, or lake demon, at a cave under Squally Point near Rattlesnake Island which is offshore from Peachland. The Indians would never paddle a canoe near this area without an offering because quite often a storm would spring up and legend had it that N'ha-a-itk would rise out of the waters to claim another life.

1872 - The first recorded sighting by a caucasian was by Mrs. Susan Allison, a B.C. pioneer and author.

1926- Occupants of about 30 cars along an Okanagan Mission beach reported seeing "Ogopogo".

1947 -A number of boaters all saw the creature at the same time. One of the witnesses, a Mr. Kray, described it as having "a long sinuous body, 30 feet in length, consisting of about five undulations, apparently separated from each other by about a two-foot space, in which that part of the undulations would have been underwater.There appeared to be a forked tail, of which only one-half came above the water. From time to time the whole thing submerged and came up again.".

1959- Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Miller and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Marten reported seeing a "tremendous creature with a snake-like head and a blunt nose swimming some 250 feet behind their motor boat". The group watched the unknown animal for over three minutes, after which it submerged.

1964- Photo taken by a Parmenter family member.

Year unknown - Geoffrey Tozer, the son-in-law of British Columbia Premier W.A.C. Bennett (B.C. Premier from 1953 to 1972).

1976- Photo taken by Ed Fletcher of North Vancouver

1978- Bill Steciuk was crossing the bridge from the west side of Okanagan Lake in October of 1978 towards Kelowna. He caught a movement in the lake and immediately stopped his car. All the traffic behind him also stopped and he was soon joined at the rail by about 20 other onlookers. All 20 or so people saw what appeared to be a head with three black humps behind it perhaps 60 metres away protruding out of the water. Bill and the onlookers watched the creature 'swimming' for nearly a minute, after which time it disappeared beneath the water's surface, leaving a substantial wake. This sighting made a believer out of Bill and he vowed to try to one day search for Ogopogo.

1978, 1979, 1981 - Photos taken by author Arlene Gaal.

1981- Photo taken by a Wachlin family member.

"It was right around Regata time, July 24, 1981, around 1:00pm. We were in a rented ski boat and were running on the west side of the lake in the vicinity of Peachland, just a bit northwest of the tip of Rattle Snake Island. A waterskier had just passed us going fast in the opposite direction to us when suddenly a creature surfaced directly in front of us facing a northeasterly direction. We saw no head, just a body, my thoughts being that the head might be laying flat just below the surface. At first I thought it was the wake of the other boat, but then realized that the boat's wake was going the other direction. As we came closer, the creature broke into a fast-paced undulating motion. I pointed our boat directly at it but as we neared it, the creature dove, causing a large frothy whirlpool. I turned the boat around and could see the creature two or three feet below in the water. It moved at great speed at least half-way across the lake before it dove deeper and out of sight. The creature was at least 50 feet long and seemed to be either very dark green or black. "

1984 - Photo taken by a Svensson family member.

1989, hunting guide Ernie Giroux and his wife saw a "bizarre animal" emerging from the placid waters. "It was about 15 feet long and swam real gracefully and fast," Giroux told the press. The Girouxs claim to have see an animal with a round head "like a football;" at one point several feet of the creature's neck and body came up out of the water.

1987-1990 - John Kirk had frequent sightings over a period of three years.

2000 - a Penticton businessman and his wife apparently watched the head and neck of a large creature swimming through the water for several minutes while boating off Rattlesnake Island near Peachland.

2000 - The following was reported "At midnight Monday, six adults including four security guards, spotted a strange looking creature at the end of Bernard Avenue. The 4 - metre (12 foot) long creature with four flippers, 2 at each end, thrust forward like a caterpillar."

2000 - A marathon swimmer, Daryl Ellis, reported being accompanied for a short distance during his swim by two large creatures as he passed Rattlesnake Island. He described them as one being 6 - 9 metres (20 - 30 feet) long and the second being smaller. They followed him for quite awhile and then disappeared. When he swam near Okanagan Lake floating bridge in Kelowna, a creature with a large eye the size of a grapefruit came within 9 metres to get a close look at him."

Painting by local artist with police sketch-artist training, depicting Darryl Ellis sighting.

2000- A minister and his wife were hiking in Kalamoir Park on the west side of Okanagan Lake near Kelowna when they spotted a strange creature swimming on the surface of the lake and took its picture.

2000 -Visitors from Prince George, British Columbia, were walking in Bertram Creek Park south of Kelowna. They suddenly saw a disturbance in the lake approximately 300 feet out. What appeared to be a huge log was moving parallel to the shore against the waves. They estimated it was 40 feet long and watched for about 45 seconds before it disappeared.

2001-2002 Special thanks to Dan Basaraba of Peachland for permission to use the following two photos taken exactly one year apart (two sightings: July 19, 2001 and July 19, 2002)

July 19, 2001 and July 19, 2002

These are just a few of the myriad of sightings which have occured over the years. Although many people are afraid to admit they saw a "monster", there is certainly enough evidence to prove that there is something in Lake Okanagan - THE SEARCH CONTINUES..... Click here for more sighting information.

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