As we all know by now: there is none. No monster.
For some time since the creation—flooding, filling, fish-stocking, et al.—of the Town Lake there’s been wild and delirious rumors of various critters thriving beneath the opalescent waves. Some of them described like the otter (or beaver) which frolicked there for a while in the early 2000s, although they described a creature almost ten times larger than any ordinary otter. Sleek and splashing through the waves, tossing fish, harassing boats. Then there’s the Loch Ness Monster sightings from the lake’s shores that coincided with nights after curfew and sometimes full moons. Loops of a large, reptilian creature that would surface momentarily like a submarine and peer around. Finally, I’ve read tales about a suspiciously tentacled creature, the giant lake squid or octopus that crawled in the depths during the day, attacking fishers’ bobbers, or thumping the bottoms of boats.
Now, with the lake drained, sadly we can see that none of these creatures has made their appearance.
We could speculate further.
Perhaps the lake monster is the reason why the dam burst. The official story a carefully designed cover up talking about sunlight and heat affecting the rubber until it gave way. No, this has been an escape.
The monster—by whatever phylogeny it might possess—must have grown weary of devouring the stocks of fish and decided to flee downriver. Perhaps it also has a mode of locomotion that permits it to stride overland without too much difficulty. This could certainly explain how it arrived at the lake originally. Either that or it might have come down from Hoover dam when the lake originally filled, sneaking in under the watchful eyes of the civil engineers who flooded the riverbed to create the lake.
Needless to say: our Tempe Town Lake Monster has vanished with the waters. Leaving behind only the strange legacy of its memory.