Friday 3 June 2011

What will South Bay Bessie make of asian carp?

Science News
Study: Lake Erie could harbor Asian carp
Published: June 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM
DETROIT, June 2 (UPI) -- Western Lake Erie would make a fine home for invasive Asian carp, despite previous reports the Great Lakes are too cold for the fish, U.S. researchers say.Duane Chapman, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, says there already proof of that, with three Asian carp being found in Lake Erie over the past 15 years, all apparently quite healthy and growing rapidly, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.The findings contradict some scientists' contention that Great Lakes temperatures would be too cold, their tributaries too short for spawning, and food supplies insufficient for bighead and silver carp to thrive.

There is said to be  another resident of lake Erie, a lake monster called South Bay Bessie.
Lake Erie is 241 miles long( approx 389kms) and 57 miles(approx 90kms) at its widest point.It is shallow compared to other great lakes but is said to be over 200 feet(over 65 metres) at its deepest.
The lake creature, now known as Bessie, was first reported in 1817 when the crew of a schooner reported seeing a large serpent like creature swimming in the lake. On July 8th, 1898, the Daily Register Newspaper, of Ohio reported that the lake monster was able to live on both land and in water and  was a fierce, ugly, coiling creature between 25(8 metres) and 30 feet long ( 10 metres)and at least 12 inches thick( .3 metres).
It became a bit of joke in 1912 when some hoaxers tried to pass off an exotic snake as the creature. Then more sightings began to be reported.
In 1960, Ken Golic was fishing off a pier in Sandusky when he heard what he thought were  rats. He decided to throw a couple of rocks at them but then when he got close he saw a cigar shaped creature.
In 1969, Jim Schindler was startled by a snake like creature came near South Bass Island. He said it appeared to be about 2 feet ( .6 metre)wide.
In September 1981, Theresa Kovach of Akron watched a snake like creature  from a house on the shore.She said  that "was so large that it could easily capsized a boat."
In 1983, Mary M. Landoll saw Bessie off Rye Beach in Huron. Mary was out to the front porch just before dawn when from the lake she heard a rowing sound and saw what looked like a capsized boat, but realised it was animate. It was a greenish-brown and about 50 feet( 18metres) long . It had a long neck and an eye was visible on the side of the head .
In 1985,there were two reported sightings . Tony Schill of Avon, Ohio was boating with friends north of Vermilion when they saw a dark brown snake like creature with a flat tail. Tony stated that "five humps came out of the water. No way it was a sturgeon." .In 1985, Dale Munro of Lorain was also boating when he saw something strange. He stated that it had three humps and was black.
In 1989, Gail Kasner had a soner reading graph a graph from a boat owned by Ken Smith of Streetsboro. It appeared to show cigar shape object about 35 feet ( 11 metres)in length at a depth of about 30 feet.(10 metres)
Then there were several sightings in 1990 including:
Susan Seeson, of Salem saw a  creature two miles from Cedar Point. In September , Bob Soracco was jet skiing when he saw something.. He told reporters that he saw humps with gray spots. "It was very long as I moved closer and it was going down.". In the same month, Harold Bricker and his family were fishing north of Cedar Point Amusement Park when a creature swam by their boat .They described it as being 35 feet ( 11 metres)long and having  a snake like head. It moved as fast as their boat.Also in  September  Fire inspectors, Jim Johnson and Steve Dircks of Huron, saw the creature from a window facing Lake Erie. They described it as  black at about 30 feet( 10 metres) long.
In September 1991, Dennis Szececinski,was fishing in the bay when something long and black slithered in front of him. Also in In 1991, George Repicz shot  some video footage which he claimed showed  Bessie.
In the summer of 1998, Leslee Rasgaitis reported seeing 3 black humps moving in the water of the shore of Huntington Beach, Ohio.
There are some more recent sightings I believe but the explanation given is that it is a sturgeon. I have never seen a sturgeon undulate so it has humps .Perhaps it is a giant eel or water snake? Whatever people are seeing it should be investigated.

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