I think it's fair to say that every community that exists near a lake has some sort of tall tale about lake monsters and/or mythical beasts beneath the waves. My hometown was no different.

I lived in a town outside of the Kaw Lake Reservoir in Northern Oklahoma for a few years. Kaw Lake was the lake for the youth (16-22yrs old) of the area to be at during the summertime.

The lake was massive, but most of the boats went from the boat ramp to "party beach" and vice versa... There was no pleasure cruising, that's what jet skis were for. In my time spent sitting in the sand on party beach, I can't tell you how many times I heard the tale of the Kaw Lake Monsters.

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While it was never as ambitious a story as to instigate shark worries, the rumor was giant catfish the size of Volkswagen Beetles lived below the damn. Everyone knew a guy who knew the Army Corps of Engineers diver who saw them while maintaining the dam.

While I don't think anybody gave these stories any serious thought, we sure didn't run the jet skis near the dam. I'm sure every lake-side community has a similar tale of monsters.

Have there ever been sharks in Oklahoma lakes?

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Yes.

As we know, there are a few species of shark that can live and survive in fresh water. If you spend enough time on YouTube, you'll find thousands of clips of fishermen reeling in sharks all up and down the Mississippi River system. Bull sharks have been found as far inland as Iowa.

The only confirmed story I could find of Oklahoma's shark encounters happened at Lake Texoma in the late 80s.

If you didn't know, Lake Texoma is on the Red River, which eventually becomes the Atchafalaya River and the even more famous swampy Atchafalaya Basin bayou down in Louisiana. It is completely feasible that a shark could potentially swim upstream to Texoma, but how could a shark get over the massive dam?

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Shenanigans were afoot.

In 1988 Texas Parks and Wildlife were called to Pottsboro--a little Lake Texoma resort town on the Texas side--to investigate reports of a shark in the marina there.

When they showed up, they confirmed that it was a three-foot-long, seventeen-pound sand tiger shark.

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It was dead and discovered floating by a guest of the marina.

While the investigation never found an absolute answer on the matter, the general consensus remains that someone caught this little shark in the gulf, packed it in ice, and dumped it in Lake Texoma as a prank.

It's either that or some ecological terrorist tried to legitimately release a live shark into Lake Texoma.

We'll never really know.

Oklahoma's Best 4th of July Celebrations

There's nothing like celebrating America's independence in the heartland, and Oklahoma practically overflows with patriotism across the state. While most towns have their own celebrations, some are larger than others. Since it would be hard to catch all of them in one day, they're spread out a bit over two and a half weeks, pick one or more and let your American flag fly.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

16 Unbelievable Sights to Behold in Oklahoma

Long thought of as just a 'fly-over' state, there's a ton of unbelievable destinations in Oklahoma that America is missing out on.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Oklahoma's Best Motorcycle Road Trips

Since motorcycling is practically a year-round thing in Oklahoma, anytime is a good time to start planning your next road trip. Whether you're getting the moto-bros together for the ride, or packing up your significant other for a little two-wheel therapy, here are the best motorcycle road trips inside the Sooner State.

Route maps can be found in the Oklahoma Motorcycle Guide.

Gallery Credit: Kelso