The monster in the lake in our French village at PumpjackPiddlewick

Here’s a to do. Our village has it’s very own Loch Ness monster. Except we are in France. And it is not a loch but a small fishing lake. Still, we have our very own monster in the lake.

And what excitement he has caused. And with just cause.

He is this <——————————————————————————————-→ big. Honest.

The tale begins in our village and its multiple streams and springs. One of these streams was dammed to create a lake. It sits between our elderly housing / theatre complex and our Health Centre / pharmacy.

In fact when the stream leaves the dam it goes underneath the health centre into a lovely cattail pond. Then it meanders under the road and falls down a wooded ravine. It’s quite a beautiful walk beside it amongst the trees.

Our village lake is stocked with fish each spring. And each spring the fisher folk purchase their fishing permits. They can be seen sitting alongside the lake with rods in the water from April to October.

Well it seems that over the last few years there has been a noticeable decline in fish caught in comparison to fish stocked. It had people wondering.

Fast forward to this autumn. It was decided to drain the lake to see what was going on. And that was when they discovered the monster. The monster who had been eating most of the fish that our town hall had so kindly been putting in. No wonder he grew to such a size.

I didn’t at first believe the tales I was being told. We are quite a small village after all. Gossip and tall tales abound. Sure there may be some progressive ideas worked on to keep our village alive and vibrant. But I am sure those ideas did not include a monster in the lake.

Accompanying Pumpjack on a mid-day walk he took me to see the monster. I was to see proof positive.

Someone had created a separate smaller pond above the lake. Shallower and easy to see in. And there he was. At least a meter and a half (5 feet) in length. That’s no exaggeration. And seriously scary looking. Think shark meets giant eel.

Returning home, it was time for an online search. It was the whisker tentacle thingy’s that gave us the biggest clue. Our monster in the lake was a Wels Catfish.

They can grow to 3 meters (10 feet), and live a very long time. We estimated this one, based on its size, is about 10 years old.

He has been enjoying a life of hand fed fish for that long in our village.

What will happen to him now? We aren’t sure. He certainly won’t be allowed back in to the lake to feed on the fish. His size precludes him from being eaten. (By all accounts, very fatty.)

We continue to visit and wait and see. In the meantime, the lake begins to fill up again.


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