By Megan Tout
megen Megan Tout is young student for whom the highlight of each summer is camping at Bon Echo with her family.  Imagine sitting in on her grade 4 class when she presented the following speech on The Legend of the Mazinaw Monster. Mrs. Young and fellow students.  Have you ever been at the cottage and seen a strange creature swim by the end of your dock?  Have you ever been camping and heard strange sounds coming from the lake at night?  Have you ever been swimming and felt something brush up against your leg?  Was it just your mind playing tricks on you or does a monster live just beneath the surface?  Sir Isaac Brock’s very own grade 4 student Megan Tout personally traveled up north and spent ten days in and on Mazinaw Lake searching for the answers to these questions.
Perhaps you have heard of the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie for short.  Well, if you haven’t, the Loch Ness Monster lives in the Loch Ness, a large lake in Scotland.  There have been many sightings of Nessie but it is still a very big mystery.  Some people have described Nessie as….looking like a snake, weighing about 2,500 pounds and having a very long body. You will be shocked when you hear that we have our very own lake monster in Ontario.  It is thought to live in Mazinaw Lake in Bon Echo Provincial Park.  Mazinaw lake is one of the deepest lakes in Ontario, almost 145 m deep.  It is one of my family’s favourite camping spots. No one can actually prove that the Mazinaw Monster exists but there have been some sightings by people long ago.  One of the people who saw it was named Andrew, over a hundred years ago.  He and his family were at Bon Echo and he and his siblings were jumping from rock to rock.  Suddenly, Andrew saw a big giant fish.  In the pioneer times, there were also some people who saw this creature and described it as a serpent.  In 1977, a man by the name of Mont Woods, a police officer working for the Ministry of Natural Resources, was fishing when one net he pulled up had a hole in it the size of a canoe.
Both Nessie and the Mazinaw Monster are still very much mysteries.  In fact, there may not have been as many sightings as you think because perhaps many of them were part of their imagination.  However, there is a kind of fish that likes to live in deep lakes like Loch Ness in Scotland and Mazinaw Lake in Ontario.  They are lake sturgeons and they can live to be 150 years old, can grow to be over 5 m in length and weigh 500 pounds.
Therefore, Mazinaw Lake being so big could actually have such a big fish living in it. You can decide for yourself if these lake monsters are fact or fiction.  Each and every summer as my family and I glide across Mazinaw Lake in our canoe, my mind wanders to what lies beneath the surface.