Lincoln fisherman found dead on Blackfoot River

LINCOLN – A Lincoln man was found dead along the Blackfoot River last Wednesday after failing to return from a fishing trip the day before. 

A friend of James Savstrom called the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday night, April 2 after seeing Savstrom’s truck parked along Highway 200 near the Powell County line that night, Deputy Robert Rivera told the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch.

Rivera, who is based in Lincoln, responded to the report when it came in just before midnight. He searched the river area near Savstrom’s vehicle, but was unable to locate any sign of him due to darkness and the thick undergrowth.

Lewis and Clark County Search and Rescue arrived early April 3 and located Savstrom on the river at about 4:30 a.m., Rivera said.

Lincoln Fire Chief Zach Muse responded for Lincoln Fire Rescue in hopes the department’s thermal imager could help locate Savstrom. Muse alerted Lincoln Ambulance in the event they found Savstrom alive, but canceled the call after Search and Rescue located the body and he established there were no life-saving measures that could be taken. Lewis and Clark County Deputy Coroner Tim Wong confirmed the death.

Rivera said Savstrom’s cause of death hasn’t yet been established and is still under investigation. He said they are awaiting the result of an autopsy being performed at the state crime lab in Missoula, which he said is a standard practice in unattended deaths.

Savstrom, 70, was known throughout the Blackfoot Valley, particularly in Lincoln and Ovando, as an avid fly-fisherman with a passion for the Blackfoot River.


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