Body of longtime Minn. fishing guide found after boating accident
DULUTH, Minn. - Divers recovered the body of a longtime Gunflint Lodge fishing guide on Sunday, three days after he was thrown into the waters of an Ontario lake after a boating accident.
Bruce Kerfoot, co-owner of the lodge, said provincial police told him that divers found the body of Dennis Todd, 59, at about 1:30 p.m. in Northern Light Lake in 46 feet of water.
Todd, who had been a guide at Gunflint Lodge for 25 years, had been out fishing on the lake with a new lodge employee on Thursday. The woman told officials that she and Todd were on their way back to the lodge when their boat struck something in the water in Trafalgar Bay. The two were thrown into the water and Todd, who was not wearing a life jacket, did not resurface. The woman, who was wearing a life jacket, was able to swim to an island, signal another angler and then alert authorities.
Northern Light Lake is in Ontario, a short portage from Saganaga Lake near the end of the Gunflint Trail. The Gunflint Lodge is on the Canadian border, about an hour north of Grand Marais.
A search team using side-scan sonar quickly found Todd’s body Sunday about 50 feet from where the woman thought he went into the water, Kerfoot said. Todd’s body was taken to Thunder Bay for a standard postmortem examination.
Todd was from Missouri, and Kerfoot said relatives had traveled to Minnesota to make arrangements. Longtime friend Terry Merriman of Kansas City said Todd is survived by a teenage son.
Kerfoot said Todd was an expert on fishing the upper Gunflint lakes, but was “an entertainer as much as a fishing guide” who made a point of ensuring his guests had fun, no matter how many fish were caught.