Eel River Serpent
The Eel River is a major river that runs through north Western California. It is about 196 miles (315 km) long.
In the 1870’s there were reports of a strange creature being seen in the Phillipsville area of the river
ALL SNAKE AND NO STORY
About three months ago as I was on my way to Garberville, not far below what is know as Phillip’s Flat I saw what I thought was a foot log coming down the South Fork [of the Eel] river, and was not a little surprised to see such a thing adrift at that season of the year.
I was on a cliff of rocks, about 50 feet above the river, and stopped to watch the curious looking object, when I saw to my surprise it was a large serpent. The monster was at least 20 feet long in the water, and its head was raised about 3 feet above the surface of the stream, and was about as large as a dog’s head. It saw me, but did not seem to be alarmed, for it headed for the last cliff on which I was standing.
It was one of those hot days that we are accustomed on the South Fork, and the monster seemed to be hunting shade. It was about a foot in diameter; its color a dark brown, with large light and yellow spots. I watched him until he came under the cliff where the rocks hid him from view. It was seen twice more at the same place and once again further up the river. It seems to go to the woods for food, as there can be no other inducement.
West Coast Signal August 19, 1877
Three other people wrote to the newspaper to say they had seen it too.
The local native Americans believe such a creature exists and is called Kamoss. It has been seen in the river and is a monster serpent that is capable of swallowing a child .The legend is that it has done so.
Some say it is a sturgeon fish but sturgeon have bony plates which would be obvious.Also unlikely it would swim with its head above water.
Since then there have been no reports unless someone reading this knows of any more recent sightings.