Muskie Attack Sends Woman to ER

2 Aug 2020 Wildlife Stories

large muskie
A Winnipeg woman got a terrifying shock in late July when a large muskie bit her leg while she was swimming in the Winnipeg River, near Minaki in NW Ontario.

Ferocious predators

Muskies are prized catches for anglers in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.

The section of the Winnipeg River near Minaki, where the woman was attacked, is well-known for its muskie fishing. Anglers regularly land monsters measuring 3-4 feet in length and 50-inch fish are in the area.

The elusive predator sits at the top of the fish food chain and is famous for being very difficult to catch.

Muskie attacks on ducks, muskrats, and other small animals that venture into the water are common. Attacks on people, however, are very rare, but they do occur. It is unknown why this fish bit the woman’s leg.

At the time, the water might have been full of bait fish that attracted the muskie close to the woman and it was simply a case of being in the wrong place at a bad time. She mentioned she was standing in waist-high water close to a weed bed.

Unlike sharks, which are actually large enough to kill and consume a swimmer, muskies are not capable of eating an adult person. However, from the story told by the woman, this muskie meant business. The fish dragged her under the water and only let go when she pounded it with her fists.

The photos of the injuries are disturbing and the woman will apparently require plastic surgery to repair her calf.

Are kids at risk of a muskie attack?

The fact that the fish was able to pull the woman below the surface leads one to wonder if a child could be attacked. It would be possible, but families shouldn’t avoid the beautiful lakes and rivers of the region as a result.

Thousands of people swim in muskie-filled waters every year and this is only the second time I have ever heard of a person being bitten by one of these fish.

The incident is a good reminder that kids should always wear lifejackets when in the water, even close to shore. As cottagers, we have to be mindful of all risks in the lake, but a muskie attack should be low on the fear list.

Check out our popular Muskie Fishing Tips page.

Written by: Andrew Walker

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