Video which appeared to show shark in Lake Ontario an elaborate hoax

Fishers post video of Ontario's version of the Loch Ness monster

TORONTO – It turns out a video which had many wondering whether a shark was lurking in the waters of Lake Ontario was all an elaborate marketing ploy.

Discovery Canada, which is owned by broadcasting giant Bell Media, says a finned creature which momentarily surfaced while three men fished off a dock was in fact a life-like prosthetic model of a shark.

The channel says the video — which was posted on YouTube July 10 — is the first stage of a marketing campaign to promote an August programing series called “Shark Week.”

The caption posted with the video said the clip was filmed off Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ont., where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River, which eventually flows into the Atlantic.

Wolfe Island Mayor Denis Doyle says it was “rather concerning” to learn the clip was a hoax.

The video made waves across the province and beyond, with many offering opinions on what they were seeing, although experts said the creature on camera wasn’t a fresh-water-friendly bull shark but likely a large catfish.