The creature first appeared after the Lake Leelanau Dam was built in the late 1800’s.When the dam was finished the
Lake lake’s water levels rose 10 to 12 feet ( 3-4 metres) , flooding parts of the land and creating a marsh like environment around the lake. It also shut off the lake’s outlet and some say sealed the creature in.
In the summer of 1910 , a teenage boy, William Gautier, was fishing on the lake. He rowed out to a new fishing spot near the town of Lake Leelanau looking for perch and paddled up close to a tree that he estimated to stand about five feet tall above the water, with a six-inch trunk. He cast a line, and began tying the boat to the tree. The young William suddenly noticed the tree had eyes. They were staring him dead in the face at about four feet above water level. The two starred at each other for a few moments before the animal dove into the water and went under the boat. Gauthier said later that the creature's head passed one end of the boat while the tail was still at the other end, though it was undulating very quickly through the water. Gauthier admitted to having been frightened by his encounter, and that he stayed off that lake for many years. His great grandchild stated in an interview years later that his great-grandfather came from a prominent family in the area and was very well-educated, so not easily fooled. William had also told his family that he knew of others who would admit privately but not publicly that they, too, had seen the creature.
Several other encounters with the creature where apparently reported around the turn of the century, but were not formally recorded for fear of being ridiculed.
I could not find any modern day reports and the theory is that whatever was trapped by the dam was alone and has since died.