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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Missing fisherman found dead

  • A fisherman who went missing on Lake Wallenpaupack was found dead on Monday.
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  • – A fisherman who went missing on Lake Wallenpaupack was found dead on Monday.
    Jeffery Kochis, 33, of Lackawanna County, was identified as the person who was found dead.
    Eric Levis, press secretary for the PA Fish and Boat Commission, said that on Monday morning a body was found on the "Pike County side" of the Boat House restaurant area.
    He confirmed that the body was identified as Kochis.
    On Saturday Pennsylvania State Police issued a release stating that Kochis of Jefferson Township in Lackawanna County, went missing near Shuman's Point, on Lake Wallenpaupack on Saturday.
    The area is located across the bay from the dam.
    His boat was located unattended at Shuman's Point and fishing tackle was in the boat. PSP said it appeared Kochis was fishing alone in the boat at the time of the incident around 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The boat was spotted by other fishermen who called 911.
    Ledgedale and Tafton dive teams, as well as the Lakeville Fire Company, several ambulance services, Towboat USA and PSP assisted at the scene. The PA Fish and Boat Commission was the lead agency.
    Brian Moyer, a resident of Hawley, said he saw Kochis launch out on the lake on Saturday morning.
    "I saw him put his silver radio in the boat," Moyer stated. "There were white caps. It was bad that morning. I was asking myself, why would he go out? It was rough out."
    He said later on he saw two conservation vehicles by the lake and was wondering what was going on.
    "I heard word about a missing boat and when they came back after, they had his boat with them," Moyer stated. "There was no visible damage that I could see and I was using my binoculars. The boat didn't look disturbed. It didn't look like it was overturned, damaged or anything. Nothing looked out of place and that's what put the red flag up."
    He said that on Saturday and Sunday he saw the dive teams launch from the access. Moyer added that he counted "22 guys" and that they had "three boats" with them.
    "They had a pontoon, a search and rescue and a hard shell boat," he said. "I have to hand it to them. It was very cold and they gave it their best effort. They did a great job searching."
    He said he also saw a helicopter flying around a portion of the lake near Wallenpaupack Area High School on Monday morning as well.
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