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Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times Mickey Daniels stands on the deck of the Big Mack II, his charter boat which he runs out of Carnelian Bay on Lake Tahoe's north shore. Daniels admits to have seen Tessie, Tahoe's lake monster. While researchers believe the monster is a sturgeon, introduced decades ago when the Sierra Nevada mountain lake was stocked with mackinaw, a large lake trout, Tessie remains as a permanent figure of many residents' imaginations.

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