Freshwater Monster of South Carolina. Variant name: Loch Murray monster. Physical description: A large fish or humped animal. Length, 30 feet.

Distribution: Lake Murray, South Carolina. Significant sightings: In 1973, Buddy and Shirley Browning and a friend were fishing when a large fish attacked their boat. It did not look like a sturgeon to them.

In late April 2000, Mary S. Shealey saw a large lump resembling an overturned boat near the Lake Murray Dam. She estimated it was 30 feet long and 10 feet high.

Possible explanation: The Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus) grows to 14 feet in length and ascends coastal rivers to spawn. It is found in some South Carolina rivers, including the Santee and Edisto, but none have been confirmed in Lake Murray.

Sources: John Kirk, In the Domain of Lake Monsters (Toronto, Canada: Key Porter Books, 1998), pp. 172-173; Lexington (S.C.) News, May 14, 2000; Loch Murray Monster, http:// html.

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