Tahoe Tessie

Freshwater Monster of California.

Physical description: Length, 12—25 feet. Brown. Humped.

Behavior: Swims swiftly. Causes odd-looking waves.

Distribution: Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada.

Significant sightings: In June 1982, police officers Kris Beebe and Jerry Jones were water-skiing when they saw a huge, dark animal swimming 25 feet away.

Patsy McKay and Diane Stavarakas saw a 17-foot animal with a hump surface several times on June 17, 1984.

Mike Conway and Virgil Anderson filmed a finned animal creating a 20—25-foot wake at Zephyr Cove in April 1985.

Possible explanation: A large White sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), suggested by John

TAHOE Tessie ofLake Tahoe, California, illustrated by Eileen Lambert and Cathy McClelland for Tahoe Tourist Promotions, 1989. (Reprinted with permission of Bob McCormick)

Roush. The closest sturgeon are found in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers, 75 miles to the west.

Sources: Charles M. Skinner, American Myths and Legends (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1903), vol. 2, pp. 283-284; John H. Roush Jr., Successfully Fishing Lake Fahoe (Chicago: Adams Press, 1976); "Monster Pops Up at Lake Tahoe," San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 1984, p. 3; "Lake Tahoe Monster Filmed," Fortean Times, no. 46 (Spring 1986): 25; Michael Dougan, "The Tahoe Monster and Other Legends of the Lake," Image, June 12, 1988, pp. 2-6; Bob McCormick, The Story of Tahoe Tessie: The Original Lake Tahoe Monster (Sparks, Nev.: Tahoe Tourist Promotions, 1991); John Kirk, In the Domain ofLake Monsters (Toronto, Canada: Key Porter Books, 1998), pp. 153-156.

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