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Chippewa River water monster! [UPDATED AGAIN]

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by Trevor Kupfer photos by Trevor Kupfer

What the what?!
What the what?!

The mystery of the Anonymous Chippewa River Sculptor grew even more perplexing recently, as that carved  yellow rabbit-face thing vanished (washed away?) and was replaced by a water serpent. Resembling the infamous Loch Ness Monster of Scotland (we assume), the Loch Chip Monster of Wisconsin is a considerable advancement from the previous piece.

Appearing last week in almost the exact same place as before (on the west bank of the Chip near Family Video and across from the Phoenix Gardens), the monster is first and foremost made of stone! Three flat slabs of seemingly recycled concrete, to be precise. The tail, the head (complete with a grin and RED eyeball), and the body hump (with PVC lined holes in it so the river can flow on through).

As with the last one, you can see it whilst heading west on the Madison Street bridge. And, as with the last one, there’s no evidence as to who created it. (We even took the extra time to examine it. Up close. In the river. Which reminds me, you tubers should probably wait a bit. It’s freaking cold.)

UPDATE: According to the Leader-Telegram, the monster is not long for this world:

"Through some means, this obstruction will need to be removed to ensure the public's safety and to meet the standards of state law," Dan Baumann, acting director for the DNR's West Central Region, said in an email.

State laws require DNR approval for any structure that stands below the ordinary high-water mark on all navigable streams, he said.

The artist behind the sculpture has not come forward or signed the work, but Baumann said the DNR wants the owner to remove it before the DNR does so.

Leader-Telegram (5-2-2012)

UPDATE 2! The artist sent us a message:

I am the one responsible for the artwork (Nessie) in the Chippewa River. Besides the art itself another reason for the artwork was to raise awareness about the many pylons in the river. The first sculpture that I intended to look like an Eagle (also known as he Rabbit) was carved from a stump with a chainsaw was attached to one of these pylons late last year. The eagle washed away with the high waters earlier this year, so I thought what might hold up against the current? Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster) I made from concrete. Maybe someone should take a look at the real hazards in the river like the pylons and even though the law is the law and can not be changed maybe just look the other way and appreciate the little piece of eye candy that was installed on a part of the river where no one launches there boats, rafts, etc plus maybe Nessie could help remind boaters the pylons are in the river. I regret to inform you that I will be removing Nessie within the next ten days. As much as I would like to leave it there I don't want the DNR finding out it was me and fining me for it. Maybe you could start a poll asking the folks in Eau Claire if it should stay. The water level has increased with all the rain from this week so I need to wait for it to receid a bit first. Also Nessies red eye is a soda cap not a red rock. There will be more artwork to come but I will have to check into laws a bit more.

Thank you both for the nice articles!

– The Phoenix (what the guys that helped me work on it are calling me haha)

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