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Deep in the waters of Payette Lake, Sharlie lurks. Perhaps any lake worth its salt nurtures an icon. The presence of a scaly-skinned serpent was first reported by loggers in the 1920s. It is quite possible that the seed of a lake monster was planted in the loggers’ psyche by Native American legend.

More sightings followed during the 1940s. Each report contained remarkable similarities, including an estimated size of 30-40 feet, a large reptilian or dinosaur-type head, hard or scaly skin, and a long tail.IMG_2982 IMG_2981In the 1950s, Sharlie got her name thanks to a contest in the local newspaper, The Star News. On a glass-calm day, an unexplainable ripple shatters the surface of the water. That’s Sharlie, out there, exclaim the locals, even though no one has ever been able to record her breaching.

Who knows what lurks out there?

Who knows what lurks out there?

DSC_0751It is actually possible that a very large sturgeon could be the mystery monster of Payette Lake. Sturgeon are elusive bottom feeders who live up to 100 or more years. The largest sturgeon ever caught weighed 1,100 pounds. Fact or fiction, the mystique of Sharlie lives on, delighting old and young alike.DSC_0695Sharlie looks like a friendly spirit

Sharlie looks like a friendly spirit

Depending on the perspective...

Depending on the perspective…

Who knows when Sharlie will visit again?