MINAKI, Ont. — A guest at a Minaki-area resort will require plastic surgery for a severe wound she suffered when a large fish – thought to be a muskie – bit her while she was cooling off in the Winnipeg River.
A spokesperson at North Star Village Resort describes the incident "like a shark attack," as it left a wound spanning nearly 18 centimetres across the front and back of the victim's leg.
It happened Saturday while a group of people were relaxing in the water near the lodge's boat launch.
"We were all right beside her. But she was the only one who wasn't on a floatie. She was standing in the water, which was not very deep," said Marcy McNally, one of the resort's owners.
Ironically, she said, the woman doesn't usually go in the water, and had done so only because it was an exceptionally hot day.
McNally believes the muskie is the same one that's been caught and released in that part of the river before.
"We've seen a big one there, and assume that's what it was. They figure it's at least 50-plus inches" long, she said. "I've never seen or heard anything like it. I mean, I've heard of people getting bit in the foot or something, but this almost looks like a shark attack. It's actually crazy."
McNally said that when the woman screamed, the others in the group initially thought she had panicked because something had brushed up against her.
Immediately after the attack, she was treated by two nurses who happened to be staying at the resort.
"We were lucky," McNally commented.
The nurses securely bandaged the wound before the victim was taken to Kenora hospital, then home to Winnipeg for further treatment.
"She does have pretty extensive damage on her leg, but she's going to be seeing a plastic surgeon to see what they can do to fix it," McNally said.
The woman's husband told tbnewswatch.com on Tuesday that his wife has been "pretty traumatized" by the incident.
There have been occasional reports of muskies biting humans over the years, including an incident at the Kenora Bass International fishing tournament in 2012, when an angler suffered a deep bite wound after dipping his foot in the water before a weigh-in.