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Loch Ness ‘Monster’ is just a branch, says Ness Fishery Board

By Andrew Dixon

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The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board has damped down international TV and media attention by stating that there was no Loch Ness Monster or giant eel in a recent video it filmed in the River Ness – but a branch off a tree.

Chris Conroy, river director of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board, posted a video clip of a brown trout with a long dark shape passing behind it on the board’s Facebook and Twitter pages. He quipped: “Let’s be honest – when you see a large, eel shaped object passing your camera in the River Ness, the first thing you think of is #lochnessmonster.”

Next thing he knew media outlets from across the globe were sharing the footage, including Fox News from New York and a Japanese TV station from Tokyo, with a flood of calls for more information.

“When we posted the footage, we were unaware that environment DNA researcher Professor Gemmell from New Zealand was about announce that the Loch Ness Monster may be a giant eel – and that’s exactly what the shape in our footage looked like,” Chris said. “The media put two and two together and the response has been incredible.

“A UK national tabloid actually doctored the image to make it look more like a giant eel on their front page, but we are 100 per cent certain that it was a large tree branch washing down the river.”

Chris, who has captured hundreds of hours of underwater fish footage in the River Ness, added: “I can see how it looked like an eel, but it’s definitely not one, giant or otherwise.

“It’s all a fuss over nothing, but I’m impressed that a video clip on our Twitter and Facebook could trigger such a response. It has also raised awareness of the European eel which is critically endangered, with numbers falling by around 90 per cent since the 1990s.”

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