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Fish food: Wakeboarder's finger found in lake trout

When Haans Galassi lost four of his fingers in a wakeboarding accident in Idaho, he joked, wryly, that they had become fish food.

He wasn’t surprised, then, when the Bonner County sheriff called him up, telling him he had a funny story to tell him.

“I was like: Let me guess, they found my fingers in a fish,” Galassi, 31, told the Spokesman-Review. (The newspaper’s headline was equally flippant: "Lake trout gives fisherman the finger.")


Galassi, of nearby Spokane, Wash., was wakeboarding on Priest Lake in northern Idaho on July 4 when his hand was caught in the cord, fully severing his fingers. His friends rushed him to a resort and he was transported to the hospital by helicopter.

Then, on Sept. 11, a man named Nolan Calvin was fishing on the west side of Priest Lake when he caught a large lake trout. As he was cleaning the fish, he found what appeared to be a severed human finger, according to a press release from the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s department statement: “It is unknown, of course, how long the fish actually retained the finger in its digestive track, however, it was noted that the finger was in remarkably good condition at the time of recovery.”

Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Gary Johnston was particularly impressed.

“You fall asleep in your bathtub or hot tub, you come out and your fingers are all puckered up and prune-like. And it wasn’t like that,” he told the Spokesman-Review.

Calvin, the fisherman, placed the finger on ice, which he turned over to deputies, who were able to derive a decent enough fingerprint to trace back to Galassi. The fish, officials concluded, had traveled about eight miles north of where Galassi lost his fingers.

The investigation concluded, the sheriff’s department offered Galassi back his finger.

Galassi told the Spokesman-Review that he declined.

“I’m like, uhhh, I’m good,” he said.

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