The Hunt for The Lacamas Lake Monster

I first saw the monster about seven years ago when my Australian Shepherd Kix and I were on the return leg of an evening kayaking trip up Lacamas Creek. It was a very large fish – I don’t know what kind, but it was large enough to swallow a Cormorant whole. I wrote a blog about it, and republished here.

Staging Area

Last Saturday, the first day of Spring 2010, sixteen of us from our DoLife Kayaking group braved an exhausting yet exhilarating kayaking expedition hunting for “Massy”, our legendary Lacamas Lake Monster.

A Careful Departure

Beginners and Experts


No one reported actually seeing the monster, though one weary paddler, who preferred to remain anonymous, reported seeing a “large” shadow moving under one of our explorer’s kayak while crossing the Lacamas Creek “Pit”, a mysterious 310-foot deep fissure popular with local Bass fisherman. I have always wondered about that pit.

Mark and Annie

Our group is comprised roughly of half experienced and half beginning kayakers, with ages ranging from twenty years old to around sixty, with an average age around fifty I think – I will let you guess who belongs to what age. Needless to say, there was a shortage of off-the-shelf painkillers later that evening in the greater Vancouver, Washington area.


Up the Creak

We departed in the morning from Heritage Park, and returned about three hours later.


The weather was more than cooperative for that time of year in the Northwest, a high of 70-degrees, mostly blue sky, with a moderate-but-burdensome East wind for our laborious return leg, providing just enough punishment to help remind everyone to ask me to teach them how to avoid most of the headwind in the future.

A couple of our new kayakers had some trouble in the beginning learning how to paddle efficiently. I admonished one of them to forget all the helpful advice she had received — which was all excellent instruction by the way, and just do what felt right. That little bit o’ barnyard wisdom produced big results and a little smile. A while later I suggested to our budding kayaker, that she should probably correct her heading before she drifted off course, not after, as she was able to keep up with us okay, but was paddling twice the distance as everyone else because of the random zigzag course she piloted. She paddled like an expert for the rest of the day.

There was only one spill, which considering the nature of the sport, and how we go about it, is surprisingly rare. I won’t tell you who he was, but he is married to my youngest daughter. He was caught by the same thing I had warned everyone about three hours earlier, and as it happens, the same thing that nearly spilled Kix and me three weeks earlier. You have to watch out for shallow water. If you are moving at a good pace, and your kayak strikes a snag or a ledge in shallow water at a very slight angle, it can pry you up and over. Well, as if reenacting my short lecture, Mark — oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to mention his name — well, he did just that. He had slowed down, but ran aground, and while attempting to free himself, fell into a deep shelf and rolled over into the water. We both smiled at that.

In the end, everyone survived. Everyone had a great time. Everyone is eager to try it again.

One thought on “The Hunt for The Lacamas Lake Monster”

  1. I have found a unidentifiable dead creature 2 times in my life around Lacamas Lake. The first time I was about 10 and was in Dead Lake fishing in a float tube, while I was exploring around I came upon a very large piece of dead ????. It looked like the tail to some sort of sea creature, even thinking about it to this day gives me chills. I immediately got out of the water and have never been back to Dead Lake, and after what I found I questioned the reasons behind naming the lake “Dead” lake. The second time I ran into a large piece of dead flesh was 2 summers ago while the lake was low. I was fishing for bass away from normal spot when I found it. It was about 4 feet long, as round as a thigh, no fins, no head, no tail. The flesh inside was pink, when i broke it open with a stick I was unable to any bone structure. It has armored type plates on the top, and a maggot like structure on the bottom. I was able to return with a friend and a camera for this piece. Fish & Wildlife has no idea what it was and neither did my friend who studies biology. I’ve personally seen a 5 to 6 foot lake trout in Round Lake, those Lakes in that area still hold many secrets.

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