Lyon County Sheriff Jeff Cope identifies the victim as 32-year-old David Leroy Praeger, of Emporia.
The Emporia Gazette reports that Praeger and six children were fishing from a boat around 10 a.m. Tuesday when he fell into the river.
The oldest child – a 10-year-old – got the boat to shore and helped the others off. The children then walked along a county road searching for help.
Praeger’s body was recovered from the Cottonwood less than four hours later.
The sheriff is awaiting results of an autopsy but says foul play is not suspected.
Cope encourages everyone to wear a life jacket while on the water.