Ogopogo began in the legends of the Interior Salish First Nation as N’ha-a-itk (or Naitaka), a lake monster that was revered and feared. Early stories tell of the need to appease the monster with offering small animal sacrifices. Ogopogo is said to reside in the caves around Squally Point (across from Peachland).
Descriptions vary though most agree that it is an aquatic species with bulging eyes and it is dark green or shiny black. Its head has evolved from snakelike to horse like and its ears are like tiny horns. Its long slim body could be 30 – 70 feet in length and is seen as 2, 3 or more humps above the water. It is most often sighted as a swell in a calm lake and moves too fast to be a swimmer, leaving a wake that washes up onto shore.
Sightings are fairly frequent, including a video from 1989. Many believe Ogopogo is either a gigantic sturgeon fish or a dinosaur that escaped extinction. It is believed that Ogopogo is the Loch Ness Monster’s cousin or that they are actually the same animal and are connected to each other under the ocean. Ogopogo has been declared an endangered species by the Attorney General under the Fisheries Act. It remains a mystery as all findings are inconclusive.
Keep your eyes peeled while out on your Okanagan wine tour, as you may be lucky and get a glimpse of our elusive lake monster.
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