Is this Ogopogo, enjoying the cold deep waters of Lake Okanagan?


Here are but a few of the many reported sightings over the years

Although many people who believe they saw the creature have not come forward because of possible ridicule, "Legend Hunter" Bill Steciuk has received many reports from people who wanted to share their stories through this website, . There have also been many details of sightings over many years reported in a variety of publications, based on sightings by early area settlers going back to as early as 1873.

Even previous to that, local Okanagan native tribes had many stories of sightings passed down from generation to generation over the years. They called the creature N’ha-a-itk, meaning "sacred spirit of the waters" and followed sacrificial traditions to appease the "spirit".

We thank everyone who has shared their stories, and appreciate the pictures shared with Bill through this website by some of those reporting sightings.

If you have a sighting you would like to share, please click here to give details of what you saw.

Older Reports in chronological order of sightings

1873 - 1981

  • 1873 - The first recorded sighting by a caucasian was by Mrs. Susan Allison, a B.C. pioneer and author, near her home, Sunnyside Ranch, which is the location of today's Quail's Gate Winery in West Kelowna. Mrs. Allison was very specific in her description of seeing a snake-like creature, which closely mirrored the often repeated local native legend about N’ha-a-itk, the "sacred spirit of the waters"
  • 1926 - Occupants of about 30 cars along an Okanagan Mission beach reported seeing "Ogopogo".
  • 1947 - A number of boaters all saw the creature at the same time. One of the witnesses, a Mr. Kray, gave a detailed description: "it had a long sinuous body, 30 feet in length, consisting of about five undulations, apparently separated from each other by about a two-foot space, in which that part of the undulations would have been underwater.There appeared to be a forked tail, of which only one-half came above the water. From time to time the whole thing submerged and came up again.".
  • 1959 - Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Miller and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Marten reported seeing a "tremendous creature with a snake-like head and a blunt nose swimming some 250 feet behind their motor boat". The group watched the unknown animal for over three minutes, after which it submerged.
  • 1964- A Parmenter family member was able to take a photo of what they saw in the lake.
  • Year unknown - Geoffrey Tozer, the son-in-law of British Columbia Premier W.A.C. Bennett (B.C. Premier from 1953 to 1972), reported seeing the "creature".
  • 1976- Ed Fletcher of North Vancouver reported being able to take a photo of what he saw in Lake Okanagan
  • 1978- Bill Steciuk was crossing the bridge from the west side of Okanagan Lake in October of 1978 towards Kelowna. He caught a movement in the lake and immediately stopped his car. All the traffic behind him also stopped and he was soon joined at the rail by about 20 other onlookers. All 20 or so people saw what appeared to be a head with three black humps behind it perhaps 60 metres away protruding out of the water. Bill and the onlookers watched the creature 'swimming' for nearly a minute, after which time it disappeared beneath the water's surface, leaving a substantial wake. This sighting made a believer out of Bill and he vowed to try to one day search for Ogopogo.
  • 1978, 1979, 1981 - Photos taken by author Arlene Gaal.

1981 - Photo taken by a Wachlin family member.

"It was right around Regata time, July 24, 1981, around 1:00pm. We were in a rented ski boat and were running on the west side of the lake in the vicinity of Peachland, just a bit northwest of the tip of Rattlesnake Island. A waterskier had just passed us going fast in the opposite direction to us when suddenly a creature surfaced directly in front of us facing a northeasterly direction. We saw no head, just a body, my thoughts being that the head might be laying flat just below the surface. At first I thought it was the wake of the other boat, but then realized that the boat's wake was going the other direction. As we came closer, the creature broke into a fast-paced undulating motion. I pointed our boat directly at it but as we neared it, the creature dove, causing a large frothy whirlpool. I turned the boat around and could see the creature two or three feet below in the water. It moved at great speed at least half-way across the lake before it dove deeper and out of sight. The creature was at least 50 feet long and seemed to be either very dark green or black. "

1984 - 2000

  • 1984 - Photo taken by a Svensson family member.
  • 1986 sighting reported to in the summer of 2018
    "I have not reported this story publicly before now as it is just too unbelievable. This sighting occurred in late July of 1986. I was paddling a canoe near Ellison Provincial Park, and my 2 girls were trolling for fish (they were about 8 and 10 years old at this time). Since it was dusk and the stars were beginning to be visible, we began to head toward the dog beach at Ellison to head back to camp. It was a warm night; the lake was smooth as glass and it was a very quiet evening with no motor boaters.

    We were about 100 M out from the beach when we noticed a rounded object on the water. The object was not moving. Thinking it was something like a play toy or an inner tube, I decided to paddle over and investigate. As we approached, the first thing I noticed was a strong fishy smell. When the bow of the canoe was within a meter or so of the object, we noticed it was about 1 ft wide by 4ft long and had 2 rows of arrow head shaped scales running its length. It was dark green in color.

    We sat there a few seconds and I asked the kids to reel in their lines. Then we heard a kind of moaning or low growling noise. We realized that about 5 to 10 M further ahead there was a large head facing away from us silhouetted against the dusk sky. The head appeared to be about the size of a horse head and it appeared to have horizontal conical shaped structures like horns. My kids turned to ask what this was and I said "the Ogopogo." At this juncture, realizing what I had just said, my hair stood straight up, and my older daughter freaked out and demanded we head to shore!

    The creature appeared to notice we were there and slowly moved away. It did not move with any undulations but moved slowly with the head and hump in the same position. Its movement seemed consistent with the idea of a large body under the water (and likely under my canoe!) and a long folding neck. After moving off about 50 M, it turned as if to take a look at us and then it submerged. This whole incident lasted about 2 minutes. I did have a camera in the boat with me but was just too shocked to think of trying to use it.

    We have often returned to Ellison Park to camp and paddle, but I have never seen anything like that again. Thank you for providing this report venue[ website].
    John P.

  • 1989 - hunting guide Ernie Giroux and his wife saw a "bizarre animal" emerging from the placid waters. "It was about 15 feet long and swam real gracefully and fast," Giroux told the press. The Girouxs claim to have see an animal with a round head "like a football;" at one point several feet of the creature's neck and body came up out of the water.
  • 1987-1990 - John Kirk had frequent sightings over a period of three years.
  • 2000 - a Penticton businessman and his wife apparently watched the head and neck of a large creature swimming through the water for several minutes while boating off Rattlesnake Island near Peachland.
  • 2000 - The following was reported "At midnight Monday, six adults including four security guards, spotted a strange looking creature at the end of Bernard Avenue. The 4-metre (12 foot) long creature with four flippers, 2 at each end, thrust forward like a caterpillar."
  • 2000 - A minister and his wife were hiking in Kalamoir Park on the west side of Okanagan Lake near Kelowna when they spotted a strange creature swimming on the surface of the lake and took its picture.
  • 2000 -Visitors from Prince George, British Columbia, were walking in Bertram Creek Park south of Kelowna. They suddenly saw a disturbance in the lake approximately 300 feet out. What appeared to be a huge log was moving parallel to the shore against the waves. They estimated it was 40 feet long and watched for about 45 seconds before it disappeared.


A marathon swimmer, Daryl Ellis, reported being accompanied for a short distance during his swim by two large creatures as he passed Rattlesnake Island. He described them as one being 6 - 9 metres (20 - 30 feet) long and the second being smaller. They followed him for quite awhile and then disappeared. When he swam near the Okanagan Lake floating bridge in Kelowna, a creature with a large eye the size of a grapefruit came within 9 metres "to get a close look at him.". Mr. Ellis's sighting was painted by a local artist with police sketch-artist training.


James Ivany writes that he saw the creature while he was vacationing in Okanagan Lake Provincial Park in August 2000.

"A girl and I were sitting on the beach talking all night long. At around 5:30am, soon after daybreak, I left the beach to use the public restroom. As I was returning to the beach, I looked out towards Rattlesnake Island and saw what looked like a submarine surfacing. The girl to whom I had been talking also saw it as well and was pointing towards it. It looked to be about 100 feet or so in length and it was travelling very fast. About 30 seconds later it went out of sight, heading south towards Penticton. It looked like it had a wake behind it, which may have made it appear longer. It was clearly not a wave since the lake was almost like glass that morning, with clear skies, no wind and mild temperatures. The few waves there were were very small and extremely slower than what I saw. It was silent, faster than any speedboat I had seen on the lake earlier that week but with no sound, it was obviously not a speedboat".


Dan Basaraba of Peachland saw the strange phenomenon twice and took photos both times. The first was on July 19, 2001, and exactly one year later to the day, he was able to take this second image as well.


While filming a documentary on Ogopogo, a film crew consisting of 14 people including Bill Steciuk, all saw what looked like two or three humps undulating in and out of the water at almost the same spot where Bill had first sighted what he believed to be Ogopogo over 24 years before.

August 2003

Jeremy wrote to The Legend Hunters to tell us that his grandparents saw the creature in August 2003.
"It was around 12:30pm-1:00pm and it was a clear blue-skied day. My grandparents never go out on a cloudy day because my grandma is afraid of storms. They were in their boat and suddenly a long black object with humps swam by them and it swam so fast that the boat started to rock very badly! My grandparents were pretty freaked out so they drove off but then what seemed like two creatures started to follow them and actually bumped into their boat! After a few moments, the creatures just left and the lake was still. There were 5 other people in the boat to confirm this story".

August 5, 2003

Steve Lavallee, a DJ with CKLZ Power 104, writes the following story, which he sent to us after seeing a story about the Legend Hunters searching for Ogopogo.
There were 8 of us on a rented boat celebrating my 25th birthday. We were not far from Bear Creek Park around early afternoon. We stopped to swim, near the middle of the lake.  I noticed three waves moving through the water. They looked like humps, almost like when a river goes over a big boulder with a v shape at the beginning. They were like waves but not going in a straight line- they were sort of moving in a zig-zaggy fashion and very fast. As a joke, I yelled at the others "It's Ogopogo- look!" Then as eveyone saw it, including my cousin who took a picture with his mobile phone, we started to think that maybe this was not a joke after all. The two people who were swimming got back in the boat and we decided to chase the object, but it was fast. We were in an 8-man Larson bowrider and it was hard to keep up with the weird waves.

They seemed to slow down after about 5 minutes and we caught up. At that time, we saw what appeared to be 3 or 4 of the exact same objects all around the same area, zigzagging around. We didn't know what to think and thought that perhaps it was some kind of an unexplained but natural phenomenon, although really weird. I don't know what it was but it was definitely something!"

Steve goes on to explain that the waves he saw were coming from the large object, with the "v" part at the front, just below the surface. As seen from a bit of a distance, it looked like the "hump" measured about 2-1/2 feet high and somewhere about 3 feet wide.

September 2003

Scott Tait writes about a sighting shortly after the end of the forest fires in the Kelowna area.
"The weather was hot and clear. My wife and I were returning to Vancouver from Alberta and we stopped at the swimming area in Peachland next to the private marina. What we saw was about 20 ft outside the swimming area and moving south slowly. At first I thought they were waves from a boat wake except that they were a little taller than a wave. Also, almost as soon as I spotted it a wave washed against/over it and didn't disturb it. It moved quite slowly south, parallel to the beach, as it passed the diving tower it disappeared below the surface for about 5 seconds and then resurfaced and continued south for about 50 or 60 feet before disappearing altogether. The duration of the event was about 90 seconds. The two objects were about 17-20 feet long and separated by about 5-6 feet. The northern one was about 4 feet closer than the south one and they moved together perfectly, as if two parts of one thing. My first impression was of a wave with something rolling inside it. It looked a lot like the second photo you show on your site from Dan Basaraba (2001-2002 sighting, above). I'm not sure I believe in sea monsters or land-locked aquatic dinosaurs but I can't explain what I saw and if you can I'd certainly like to know what it was".

November 11, 2003

Steve Tarjan writes about a sighting he and his wife had on November 11,2003, just after 12:00pm above Kalamoir Park.
"My wife and I were picking up the kids from their grandparents' house. I decided that first we would drive into the new development on Thacker Road to see the new houses. It was no more than 10 °C out and we both got out of our car to look at the view. We were looking around when we noticed that there was a disturbance on the lake many meters below our vantage point. The whole lake was grey and dead still, a typical depressing Kelowna sock-in. Anyway there were these puffs of condensation that we saw way down on the water. They were very distinct little clouds and under them there was a fan-shaped disturbance of great size. As these clouds shifted slowly away from the now multiple fan shaped water upsets, we saw a big, big line in the water. It was the color initially of the edge of thick glass, that aquatic greenish. It was at least three school buses long and maybe a third wider than a bus. It was moving smoothly and directly towards us. As it approached it turned slowly to our left and began to dive. We know it was diving because it gradually changed colors from the initial green to an ever darkening tone till it finally vanished. The sighting lasted maybe a minute and left my wife and I very excited. The lasting impression we both got is that it was alive, massive, and not in a hurry. Whatever caused those clouds of moisture I would bet would have been worth seeing."

August 9, 2004

John Casorso took video of his "encounter". He has allowed The Legend Hunters to reproduce stills created from his video footage here on this website and to tell the details of his story. The Casorso family have been long-established in the Kelowna area and are well known by many of the City's residents.

John Casorso and his family were sleeping on a houseboat on Lake Okanagan when suddenly, at 7:30am, the houseboat began rocking violently, waking everyone. As John reached the deck, he was amazed to see something very large swimming away so he ran to get his video camera and was able to shoot some incredible footage of the object for approximately 15 minutes. The lake was calm, there were no boats in the vicinity and the family could see a long dark hump rising out of the water. John estimated that the creature was about 125 meters away, believes that the object was about 15 meters long and there could have been more than one, which tallies with several other reported sightings of more than one "creature". John feels certain that it could not have been a wave because it wasn't dissipating, again a description told by several others who have reportedly seen such a creature in Lake Okanagan.

Photos property of John Casorso with exclusive web rights given to The Legend Hunters for viewing on - not for reproduction without express consent from John Casorso and The Legend Hunters. ©2004.

2006 -

Jill Jellett from Peachland writes about a sighting on June 27th, 2006, in Summerland

My husband & I were eating dinner at Shawnesey's Bay Marina Restaurant in Summerland, which is a lake side restaurant. I was facing south towards the right hand side of this cove. I had been watching a person throw something for a golden retriever dog. He was swimming out and fetching it. This went on for awhile, then they left. The evening was very still, no boats out. The water was flat. Then something in the same area caught my eye. I thought the dog was back. But this thing was a different colour and shape. It rose straight up out of the water about 3 feet. I asked my husband (whose back was to it) if there were any seals here in the lake. He said no they were only in salt water. So I said "then what's that??" At that point it raised up about 5 plus feet straight up. It appeared to be smooth and the colour and texture reminded me of a seal. It was facing away from me so I did not get a frontal view. It was rounded, not a pointed nose like a seal. And then it went straight down again, as silently as it had raised. This was no fish. I have seen sturgeon in Ontario, this wasn't a sturgeon. I would estimate it was about 14 inches thick (using the dog as a estimate). I wish I had brought my camera!

September 7, 2006 -

Michelle and Gilles Beliveau from Westbank took this photo of a form just below the water south of the Kelowna Mission area on the east side of Okanagan Lake. The photo was taken from their boat at 2:30pm. They estimated the object was about 25 feet long and approx 50 feet from the boat.

March 2014 -

Jeff Cottam from Ontario sent us the following details of his sighting while visiting his son in Peachland.
"I was taking photos of the lake at Peachland with my Iphone, about 200 feet east of the marina there. I was looking out at the lake when something rose up out of the water and wriggled and shook its head. The aquatic animal I saw was at most 20 to 30 feet from shore. The head looked like a sea lion or snake, about a foot long. It was black, shiny and a long body perhaps at least ten or twelve feet long or more (that was on the surface that is) but as it was moving swiftly without any sign of a tail or movement in the body. I assumed there was more body and tail below the water surface. If you look at this photograph you can see that the waves are diagonally arranged across the photograph but the long body of the animal may still be ascertained as it runs parallel to the bottom and top of the picture.

I tried to zoom in on the head with my fingertips for the next photograph and then went too close with the zoom and lost the image completely so I lost precious seconds because of this. I got a closer up picture of the head and in the second photograph you can see two Canada Geese in the frame. You can also notice that there is more of the main body in this picture and it appears to have much more width than the head so it was of considerable width, over a foot or so wide I would say. It moved quite fast then dove immediately after I got the second photograph. I wished I had just kept clicking away instead of zooming in on the head as you cannot see more of the length of the animal in the second picture. I watched the surface of the water for several minutes but it did not re-appear.

It was very real, highly unusual in shape and form and I have no idea what it was. I had not heard about Ogopogo until I got back to my son's place and told him what I had experienced and it was he who told me of the 'mythical' monster of Lake Okanagan. This was not mythical, it was very real.

May 24, 2015 -

This series of photos was taken on May 24, 2015, at approximately 6:00pm, while Bill Steciuk was sitting on the balcony of his Kelowna condo, facing Lake Okanagan. The "subject" popped out of the water about 200 meters from shore. Bill grabbed his camera and took a series of shots. The object stayed in the same spot for almost a full minute, rotating its head as if looking around, at the end of which time it "jumped" out of the water, displaying its head and a portion of its "neck", before diving and disappearing beneath the water.

Jul 18, 2016

We received a very interesting report from Marlene.
"I was just watching a documentary about the Ogopogo. They were saying it was sighted close to Rattlesnake Island. So I was looking on "Google Earth " and I see this thing... It's to the right of the picture, going left, towards the island. Kind of looks like front flippers as it is going towards the left. Here is like a street view facing towards it. Looks like 2 front flippers and 2 side flippers."

June 24, 2017 -

This sighting was on Lake Okanagan half way between Sunoka Beach and the Penticton Marina.

My wife, son & I were on the boat around 1:30 in the afternoon heading back to the Penticton marina (South). My son was driving as I was watching for stuff in the water. As we were heading South I told him to watch out for the Sea Doo ahead as he was jumping around and making big waves. My son asked what side should we pass him on. I told him to wait until we got closer as he may change directions. When we started to get closer 300ft away we all noticed there was no jet ski there but this object that had three perfect symmetrical waves coming off of it. My wife said slow down as she thought it was a kayaker. We slowed down and approached the area and told my wife and son to grab their phones and start taking a video. Now this is the weird part not one of us had our phones. That never happens. So anyways the object that was making the waves disappears, but the waves were huge, bigger than the wake my 25ft boat was making. They were these perfect three waves rolling away to the West, not the east. There were no boats in the area either and a super com day. So we are not sure what we saw but the size had to huge as we thought it was a jet ski jumping around. The picture is so vivid in our minds.