Commercial Fishermen
of the Bayfield Area

Past and Present


Sand Island Fishermen

Sand Island fishermen, circa 1910.
L-R: Peter Hansen, Fred Hansen, Lenus Jacobson, Herman Johnson.
Photograph by Sand Island lighthouse keeper, Emmanuel Luick.


A continuing effort to compile a list of fishermen who worked the waters around the Apostle Islands. This list will be under constant revision; if you know of a name that needs to be added, please e-mail


Part 1: A - D

Skip to Part 2, E-L

Skip to Part 3, M-Z



AIKEN, HENRY Identified in a 1938 Bayfield County Press article as a commercial fisherman, Aiken was marooned on Cat Island, and rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Diligence.

ANDERSON, ROGER (1928-1997) Fished with his grandfather, Louis Olsen, at Rocky Island, during his youth in the 1940s.

ANDREWS, KENNETH (Happy) Worked for various fishermen during the 1960s and 70s.

ANGUS, DANIEL Fished from Madeline Island in the 1950s and 60s with Dan Brummer.

ARMBRUSTER, JOHN Employed as an assistant and later as Keeper at Outer Island Light during the late 1870s and early 1880s he fished extensively in the immediate area.

ARSENEAU, WILLIAM (1934-1986) Worked for various fishermen over the years.

AULSKOG, ISAAC A young fisherman, he fell through the ice and drowned about two miles out from Bayfield In mid January of 1906. He was about 35 years of age, and left a wife and three children.

AUSTAD, HANS (1860-1943) Came from Norway in 1880 and was actively engaged in the fishery until 1915 when he retired, and did net work for the fishermen up until his death.



BACHAND, LOUIS Fished from the south end of Outer Island in 1880.

BAINBRIDGE, ROY Winter fished for smelt for a number of years. A son of Theo. S. Bainbridge.

BAINBRIDGE, THEODORE C. Worked for various fishermen, and winter fished on the ice for a time. A son of Theo. S. Bainbridge.

BAINBRIDGE, THEODORE S. (1892-1991) Came to Bayfield from Marinette, Wisconsin in the late 1920s. Fished mostly for chubs. He had a new boat built in 1930, tried to operate with it through the winter. Went back on the steamboats in the mid 1930s. SEE BOAT

BAKER, JOSEPH Worked for many different fishermen during the 1940s.

BALDWIN, WOODROW Worked for local fishermen, winter fished some and while fishing from Isle Royale With another fisherman, fell overboard and drowned.

BARKER, BERT Fished from a camp on the east side of Outer Island in 1876.

BARNINGHAM, VERNON Fished around Outer Island during the summer, while stationed there as lighthouse keeper from 1941 to 1946.



BASINA, FRANKLIN (1914-1999)

BASINA, KENNETH (1927-1995)

BAXTER, JOHN Fished from Outer Island in 1882.

BENSON, CHARLIE (1866-1943) Came from Norway in 1891. In 1898 he fished from Bear Island with a sail Boat. From 1908 until 1936 he operated from South Twin Island. And from 1937 until 1942 from Rocky Island.

BENSON, FRED (1903-1982) Fished his fathers (Charlie Benson) rig for a year or so in the late 1920s.

BIRKELAND, RAGNER Worked for Lenus Jacobson in the late 1930s and early 1940s, fishing from South Twin.

BIRKELAND, RONALD Son of Ragner Birkeland. Worked for his uncle, Julian Nelson, in the 1950s. Also had his own fishing license around this time and tried hook fishing with a small boat.

BISSELL, ROBERT (1937-1987) Fished at Bayfield with his brother-in-law Gilmore Peterson for a number of years prior to his death.

BISSELL, THEODORE (1900-1958) A resident of Madeline Island, he operated mostly during the fall herring run, from the early 1940s well into the 1950s. His boat CLARA MAE, was later owned by Clarence (Mike) Zabawa, Bayfield, who fished for a few years. The boat was hauled ashore and destroyed in the early 1970s.

BJORGE, ALPHORD A 1915 Bayfield County Press article mentions that he drowned off Michigan Island "nearly 20 years ago" when he broke through ice with dog team.

BODIN, ADOLPH A brother of J.O. Bodin and Elmer Bodin. Fished for many years from Houghton Point.

BODIN, CLARE W. Son of J.O. Bodin, and active in the fishery during the 1940s.

BODIN, ELMER Had a poundnet and gillnet operation out of Houghton Point, north of Washburn, Wis.

BODIN, EVER W. (1899-1969) Operated out of Big Bay on Madeline Island. Fished his entire life up until he retired. Was the only local fisherman to order a new steel fish tug, a 42 footer, from Burger Boat Co.

BODIN, GLENN Son of Adolph Bodin, and fished with his father for many years.

BODIN, J. OSCAR One of the early operators at Houghton Point.

BODIN, JEFFREY A son of Richard Bodin, and presently managing the Bodin Fisheries plant at Bayfield. Fished smelt during the spring run, and also operated their trawler for a short time.

BODIN, LOUIS Had poundnet operations at Houghton Point and Long Island in the early years of the last Century. Was the father of Ever W. Bodin.

BODIN, MICHAEL The son of William Bodin, worked with his father during his youth, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

BODIN, RICHARD A son of Elmer Bodin. Worked in the family operation during his early years. Took over Management of Bodin Fisheries at Bayfield, after the death of his brother, Roger.

BODIN, ROGER A son of Elmer Bodin, he took over the wholesale operation after his father had to retire for health reasons. Managed the Bodin Fisheries plant at Bayfield from 1963 until his death in a plane crash in 1972.

BODIN, THEODORE (1912-1998) Son of J.O. Bodin, and a fisherman for most of his early years.

BODIN, WILLIAM (1924-2009 ) After 6 years in the U.S. Navy, fished for many year. The son of Ever W. Bodin. He sold his boat to a Lake Michigan fisherman when he retired in 1986. SEE BOAT

BOEHME, JOHN Worked for a number of fishermen from the 1930s through the 1960s

BONO, ALBERT Fished with Bert Barker at Outer Island in 1876.

BOUTIN, ALLISON (1905-1984 ) Engaged in commercial fishing his entire life. The father of Ronald, James, William, and Robert Boutin; all of them fishermen. SEE BOAT (1) SEE BOAT (2)


BOUTIN, EDWARD, JR. (1855-1924) Fished his entire life, for a time from Rocky Island.

BOUTIN, FRANK (1832-1911) One of the patriarchs of the Boutin family, Frank was born in Canada and came to Bayfield in 1870. He was involved in fishing and logging, and also kept a general store for many years.

BOUTIN, JAMES Worked in the fishing with his father, his uncle Morris Boutin, and in partnership with his brother Ronald for a few years. SEE BOAT

BOUTIN, LEO Worked some as a hired man for local fishermen.

BOUTIN, LOUIS Employed as a hired man with various operators, including the Boutins. Now long deceased.

BOUTIN, MORRIS (1921- ) A fisherman his entire life, and still active in 2000. SEE BOAT (1) SEE BOAT (2) SEE BOAT (3)

BOUTIN, MYRTON Fished from various locations, including Stockton Island. Is mentioned in the Long Island Lighthouse records as arriving there the end of June 1914, possibly to fish for whitefish.

BOUTIN, NELSON A patriarch of the Boutin family, Nelson was born in Canada and arrived in Bayfield in 1870. With his brother Frank, he founded the N&F Boutin Company. By 1880, the firm had about 100 employees and 21 boats.

BOUTIN, PHILIP Worked in the fishery as a hired hand his entire life. Now long deceased.

BOUTIN, ROBERT Started working with his father at an early age, also worked for his uncle, Morris Boutin, then later operated with his own boat until the mid 1990s. SEE BOAT

BOUTIN, RONALD Started working with his father at an early age, then took over the operation when his father was forced to retire for health reasons. Also fished with several of his own boats. SEE BOAT

BOUTIN, SOLLIE Operated a large fishery in the early years of the last century. Also had an operation at Chassell, Mich. for a time in the 1920s. SEE BOAT

BOUTIN, THEODORE A fisherman his entire life, a brother of Edward Boutin, Jr., he operated from Oak Island.

BOUTIN, ULRICK A fisherman his entire life, the son of Edward Boutin, Jr. and the father of Allison, Wilfred, and Morris Boutin. He died in the early 1940s.


BOUTIN, WALTER Fished from various locations, was mentioned in the Long Island Lighthouse records as seining for whitefish there in June 1889.

BOUTIN, WESLEY A fisherman for many years, mostly in the employ of other operators. Now long deceased.

BOUTIN, WILFRED (1907-1979) Engaged in the fishery most of his life. SEE BOAT

BOUTIN, WILLIAM Started working with his father at an early age, and fished with his brothers for a time. Then took up other employment in the area.

BRESETTE, ALBERT (1908-1996)






BRUMMER, DANIEL Fished for a number of years with Dan Angus at Madeline Island.





CADOTTE, AUGUST (Gus) Worked for many years for various fishermen, from the early 1940s and into the 70s.

CADOTTE, CHARLES An expert poundnet man, he worked for Elmer Bodin for many years.

CADOTTE, JOSEPH (Jobie) Winter fished from Madeline Island for many years with his brother Francis.

CADOTTE, FRANCIS (Tots) (1906-1987)


CADOTTE, JOSEPH (1901-1975)


CADRANT, LEWIS Fished from Madeline Island. In Nov. of 1882 he was operating from Outer island with John Baxter. They left Nov. 23rd, the last fishermen to leave.

CADRANT, LEWIS Lived on Madeline Island; was engaged in the fishery for many years. He was operating From Outer Island during 1882.

CARLSON, ANTON Fished from the NE point of Outer Island in 1911.

CARLSON, BENJAMIN Worked for Ever Bodin in the 1940s, both on the lake and as a shorehand. He was the fastest net seamer in the entire area. Also worked for Martin Peterson for many years, up until his death in 1969.

CARLSON, WALTER Originally from Cornucopia, he fished at Bayfield for a number of years in the late 1940s.

CARPENTER, FRANK Along with Jos. Cohen, he fished from the NE end of Outer Island in 1880.

CHAPE, IRVING Operated from Manitou Island in the early years of the last century. Fishing poundnets.

CHARETTE, MARVIN Worked for various fishermen before his death in the mid 1950s.

CHARETTE, STEVE Fished with an open boat during the late 1980s and the 1990s up to the present.

CHASE, ILEY Brother of Wendell Chase, also fished with John Fried.

CHASE, WENDELL Fished with his grandfather, John Fried, during the mid to late 1930s, at Rocky Island.

CHRISTENSEN, EVAN (1898-1983) Came from Norway, worked for various fishermen in the 1920s and 30s. Built fish boats at Bayfield in the early 1940s, before moving to Duluth.

CHRISTENSON, MARTIN Fished from Madeline Island in the 1930s and later moved to Black River Harbor, Mich., where he continued operating well into the 1940s.

COHEN, JOSEPH Fished from the northeast end of Outer Island in 1880

CORNELL, LESLIE (1900-1985 ) Came to Bayfield in the late 1930s from Washington Island. Operated from Stockton Island for many years. Sold his boat and rig in 1966, or thereabouts.




DAHL, CARL (1906-1985) Son of Harold Dahl. He fished from Sand Island for many years. SEE BOAT

DAHL, HAROLD Fished from Sand Island. Was carried out into the lake and disappeared during a wind on April 18,1928. There was ice around. No trace of the boat was ever found.

DALY, HENRY (GRUNT) (1921-2000) Worked for various fishermen for many years, and fished his own boat and rig during the 1970s and 80s. SEE BOAT

DAUBNER, REUBEN (1919-1998) fished at Cornucopia, WI during the 1940s and 50s. He bought the 34 ft. KINGFISHER from Chester Thompson, Bayfield, a boat built at LaPointe, WI by Arvid Kron. The boat was hauled ashore and dismantled years ago.

DAY, DENNIS A son of Lawrence Day, he worked with his father and also for other fishermen. SEE BOAT

DAY, DONALD A brother of Lawrence Day, he fished in partnership with his brother and others. SEE BOAT

DAY, LAWRENCE (1923-1998) After working for fishermen for many years, he operated with his own rig during the 1980s and early 90s. SEE BOAT

DEFOE, ANGUS (1889-1973)

DEFOE, CLARENCE (1910-1960)

DEFOE, GEORGE, SR. (1903- 1982) Ice fished and also worked for other fishermen in the 1940s and 50s.

DEFOE, JOHN, JR. Worked for fishermen, had his own boat ind rig in the 1970s and early 80s. SEE BOAT (1) SEE BOAT (2)

DEPERRY, MICHAEL (DIP) Worked for various fishermen, both in the poundnet and gillnet fishery.

DRINVILLE, LEO Worked for Hadland Fish Co. in the 1940s.

DUFFY, GEORGE Fished with Martin Peterson, Sr. in the late 1930s and early 40s.

DUFFY, JOSEPH A son of George Duffy, he worked for various fishermen and later was in partnership with Ben Gustafson during the 1980s and 80s. SEE BOAT

DUFFY, VINCENT (1931-1974) Worked for various fishermen in the 1950s and early 60s. Son of Geo. Duffy.

DUVA, JOHN Fished from South Twin Island before WW I and into the 1920s. He moved to Oregon, where he continued fishing. A small log cabin he built at S. Twin is still standing.

DYRNESS, THOMAS (1869-1937 ) Came from Norway in 1905 and fished from the sandpoint on Outer Island until 1936.

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All contents copyright 2002-2014, Harvey Hadland and Bob Mackreth