When Idaho voters created the Fish and Game Commission on November 8, 1938, to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage ALL of Idaho's wildlife...we aren't sure if they had monsters in mind!
No one is certain when the first sighting of the sea monster eventually known as "Sharlie" occurred at Payette Lake, some say 1917 others, 1920. However, McCall's aquatic beast became a national, then international story in August of 1944. That summer, several people reported seeing the serpent-like creature writhing off shore and displaying a series of three humps.
Coincidentally, one of those first six witnesses was Boise attorney Homer Martin, the lawyer who drafted the 1938 initiative that created the Idaho Fish & Game Commission. But as the summer wore on, several more sightings were reported by local residents, vacationing soldiers and workers at the area lumber mill.
This landed tiny McCall, Idaho in TIME magazine's August 21, 1944 issue. The cover shows a scowling Nazi Field Marshal von Rundstedt following his army's defeat in Normandy. Inside is a column titled Slimy Slim, about "an enormous sea serpent glubbing about in Idaho's Payette Lake". Another article appeared in the Mediterranean edition of the U.S. Army's newspaper for the troops, The Stars and Stripes on August 25th, 1944Éand the Idaho sea monster became an international celebrity.
For more information on "Sharlie" the monster of Payette Lake go to Fish and Game's website at this link: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/75th/.