I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cryptid. Which is appropriate, because the thing about cryptids is nobody knows if there are any.

What cryptids are, or aren’t, are critters that have been claimed to exist but whose existence has not been proven, such as your Loch Ness Monsters, your Sasquatchii. Your winos.
I maintain winos should be on the list along with everything else quantum physicists have come up with. Quantum physicists should be celebrated far and wide for being super smart and also way, way around the bend. They are always coming up with things like “We haven’t found one yet, but we’re pretty sure there are squarks,” and this is why I love them. I mean, I’m smart, but I get lost in a hurry drilling into particle physics, and the notion I could just make up a particle to explain the spooky parts cheers me up no end. It’s like religion, only more fun.
So anyway they haven’t found a wino yet, even though they think there are three of them, all hypothetical fermionic supersymmetric partners of the W bosons of the SU(2) gauge fields. As the families confidently say in Family Feud, “It’s up there, Steve!”
Your correspondent as a young herper

But most people would not put these worthy particles in the cryptid category. Wikipedia lists some 64 known (that is to say, unknown) cryptids, from the Mongolian Death Worm to the Bunyip, and right there in the list is the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander. I’ll be go to hell. I have been a salamanderphile for over sixty years and I never heard of the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander.

Evidently people have reported seeing gigantic salamanders in Northern California for a hundred years. One source says they are comparable in size to a hellbender, but at up to ten feet long, no the hell they are not. There are giant salamanders in the world but they generally top out at under six feet. In spite of my love of salamanders, I’m not that pumped up about the really big ones. I love salamanders for their unrivaled beauty, and their weeness is part of that. Even among the wee ones, some are cuter than others. The giant ones are not adorable. They’re entirely aquatic and blob around on the bottom of streams and have giant folds in their skin, the better to absorb oxygen. I should relate to this animal especially since the day I twisted around to get a look at my butt and discovered I had developed back-fat folds to the degree they might be flossable, but this isn’t my favorite thing about myself. The Japanese giant salamander is also “said to be nocturnal,” which, for some reason, I find hilarious. (“Maybe it moves at night,” they said. “We’ll never know,” they said.)
A true giant salamander

Tycoon Tom Slick was so taken with the stories about the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander that he took his Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper and mounted several expeditions to find the blobsters in the ’60s, but had no luck. Although there has been a number of credible sightings reported of enormous salamanders in the region, none has been landed or definitively recorded. Now this I like. I like to think that a huge unverified salamander can exist right under our prying noses. It might not be as dashing as a woodland Plethodon, but I fervently want it to exist.

Also? The giant salamanders of the world are all in the family Cryptobranchidae. I think it’s a sign.