Two Drown on Yellowstone's Shoshone Lake

Shoshone Lake during one of its calmer moments. Photo by Bob Mishak.

Two elderly Idaho men who planned a three-day fishing trip on Yellowstone National Park's Shoshone Lake have drowned, apparently victims of waves kicked up by gusting winds.

The men's red canoe was spotted in the lake Friday evening by other backcountry travelers, but they didn't see the two men. Found with the canoe was a partial backcountry permit, which helped park rangers narrow their focus for the two men Saturday. The first victim was discovered near the eastern shore of the lake around noon Saturday, with the other found about an hour later farther out in the lake.

The men, 74-year-old Fred Kisabeth and 80-year-old Charles Peters, were both from Boise, Idaho. They had permits to travel the lake Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and had planned to move to a different campsite each day.

Park officials say Kisabeth and Peters were experienced canoeists, and both were found wearing life jackets. Windy conditions had been reported on the lake. Moving between campsites would have required the pair to make several open water crossings of the lake, according to the officials.

Both the date and the cause of the accident remain under investigation.

These are the first accidental deaths in Yellowstone National Park this year, and the first drownings in the park since July 2005.