The Bayfield County sheriff's office names him as Laverne Fletty of the Eau Claire area.
Rescuers responded Thursday morning to a 911 call about a person through the ice on Basswood Lake in the Town of Delta. The caller said he and Fletty were trying to get onto the lake to go fishing when Fletty, who was ahead of him, broke through the ice.
The caller wasn't able to get his friend out of the water. Rescuers pulled him from the water but he was already dead.
Authorities say Fletty apparently was crossing over a channel in the lake with an active current below.