MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An afternoon on the river turned into a once-in-a-lifetime sight for a Woodbury couple.

Dan Goff calls the St. Croix River “an untapped secret.” A couple times a week, he and his wife Andie will leave Afton Marina and go for a cruise along the scenic waterway.

But on Wednesday afternoon, Mother Nature had a new scene for them to take in.

“The first thing I saw was the back fin of the fish and eagle’s head, so I thought it was like a seagull,” said Goff. “It seemed like it was injured because it wasn’t moving well and it’s in the water. Weird to see a bird in the water.”

As they watched, a much different scenario came into focus. A bird of prey was fighting for its mid-afternoon meal.

With iPhone video recording, they slowly approached. The eagle’s wingspan came into full view, and so did the fish it was fighting with.

“Muskies are strong. They are strong. That thing was 10 pounds or more,” said Goff.

But the eagle was stronger. It used its wings and sheer determination to pull the fish on shore.

“It’s a muskie! It’s a live muskie! Good job buddy,” Andie said in the video.

There was one last escape attempt, but the eagle wasn’t having it.

“If we were literally five minutes either side of that we wouldn’t have saw the whole thing,” said Goff.

They came back an hour later to see the raptor devouring its shoreline lunch.

Goff credits his wife’s eagle eye for capturing the “nature show-like video” — which has since gone viral.

“Once it got past 20,000 to 30,000 views last night, I thought it might take off like the pyramid affect. That’s exactly what happened. Now my phone is out of battery [laughs]!” said Goff.

He said his Twitter feed, where he posted the video, has received praise from wildlife enthusiasts around the world.

John Lauritsen

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