British biologist Ian Welch has captured the largest freshwater fish ever caught with a rod: a nearly 800-pound stingray found in the Maeklong River in Thailand as part of a giant freshwater stingray tagging program. The stingray is 7 feet long, 7 feet wide, and had a sting measuring 10 feet. It took Welch an hour and a half to reel the fish in and 13 adult men to pull it from the water. "It dragged me across the boat and would have pulled me in had my colleague not grabbed my trousers -- it was like the whole earth had just moved. I knew it was going to a big one," Welch said of the battle with the stingray. After the struggle to pull it into the boat, he explained, "...there was just silence because everyone was just in awe of this thing. That line from the film Jaws came to mind about needing a bigger boat because we had to get it to the shore to tag it." The team finally managed to get the stingray to shore by pulling it behind the boat in a 12-foot-wide net. The stingray, which turned out to be a pregnant female, was tagged and a DNA sample was taken before it was released. Giant freshwater stingrays are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's "red list," meaning they're considered vulnerable for extinction. Telegraph
Maybe lake monsters are not such an elusive thing after all. I wonder how many other giant fish or turtles have been seen and put down to lake monsters. Certainly one lake in China contains large turtles. see this from 2007:
Who knows a lake cryptid may be caught yet!