MUSCLE SHOALS — Kenneth Harold Green was known as "Chico" to his former co-workers at Reynolds and also as a man who caught lots of catfish.
The Muscle Shoals resident died Saturday doing what he loved best after he fell from his boat while fishing near Wilson Dam.
His stepson, Muscle Shoals police officer Mike West, said Green was 73.
"It appears to be an accidental drowning," Colbert County Coroner Carlton Utley Utley said.
Alabama Marine Police officer Josh Bradford said Green's death is being treated as a boating accident.
Bradford said two fishermen reported seeing an empty fishing boat floating against Wilson Dam and notified Colbert County 911 about 11:30 a.m. Saturday
"They did exactly what they were supposed to do," Bradford said.
After reporting the empty vessel, Bradford said the fisherman saw a man's body.
He said they secured the body until rescuers arrived. He said Green was wearing a life jacket.
Bradford said he and Jarrod Poole, of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries responded, along with members of several city and county rescue services.
Green was pronounced dead at the Rockpile Recreation Area on the Tennessee Valley Authority Muscle Shoals Reservation.
"So far everything we've seen is consistent with an accidental drowning," Utley said.
Utley said officials were able to confirm that Green had been fishing alone.
West said his stepfather retired from Reynolds Alloys more than 10 years ago and has been an avid catfish angler for years.
"He would go any time he could," West said. "This was the first halfway pretty day."
He said co-workers from Reynolds would know Green by his nickname more than his given name.
"There's probably a lot of people he sees on a weekly basis about his fishing," West said. "He catches so many catfish that his names gets out. He will sell catfish to people who have fish frys."
He said Green also was known affectionately as "the Fish Man."
Bradford said there were no witnesses to the accident and it's unclear how Green fell out of his small, flat-bottom aluminum fishing boat.
Green's red Ford F-150 Sport pickup and trailer were parked near the Rockpile Fishing Area boat ramp. The truck had two U.S. Army stickers on the rear bumper.
Bradford said an autopsy will be requested to determine the cause of death.
He said the dam's turbines were running and spillways were open when the boat was found near the turbines. Bradford said TVA shut off the turbines and several spillways near the Colbert County side of Wilson Dam to aid in the recover operation.
"It's a dangerous area where he was," Bradford said.
West said Green knew the area he was fishing in and had fished there many times in the past.
"He goes to the same place, and if he's not catching, he moves," West said.
West said his stepfather was in good health and could not speculate on how he might have fallen from his boat.
Colbert County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Melton said about eight members of his dive team responded along with members of Muscle Shoals Fire and Rescue, Helen Keller Ambulance Service and TVA Security.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.