Artist's rendering.

There have been reports of people coming out of the waters of Lake Erie writhing in pain from a very strange creature that had bit the flesh off of their legs. The story begins in Pump house beach near Port Dover, Ontario.

47-year old Brenda McCormack had plunged into Lake Erie for a refreshing retreat from the Summer heat in 2001. She had not swam for a long time when she felt a toothy maw wrap around her calf and take a bite out of it. She quickly reached shore, staggering and dripping blood as she moved. There was a 6-inch series of circular bite marks in the shape of a jaw, similar to that of a Cookie-cutter shark's. The following morning, a man and his young son were attacked by the same mysteriously savage creature with which the boy was rushed to the hospital and was in critical medical attention from his wounds.

Many people spread rumors about what the creature could be. Some said it was a school of piranhas released into the lake, a new species of shark, or even Bessie who swam to close to shore. Whatever it is, it seems to have not disturbed the population of Port Dover for 15 years.

Bowfin Teeth

Dr. Harold Hynscht has treated 3 patients who were attacked by the supposed Lake Erie Chomper. He studied the wounds and concluded they were not from round gobies, lamprey eels, snapping turtles, walleye and other muskellunge-type fish as well as piranhas. The only fish that may fit well is the bowfin (Amia calva). They are very aggressive and territorial. They even protect their nests for 9 weeks after spawning and strike very fast before the people can react. 

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