Eau Claire police said a kayaker made up a report of two missing canoeists that prompted a search of the Chippewa River.
Police arrested the kayaker -- a 30-year-old man from Manitowoc -- on suspicion of obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor. He was booked and released.
On Tuesday, police and firefighters were sent to the Chippewa River for a kayaker in distress in the water. The kayaker told police he had overturned his kayak while trying to rescue two canoeists.
The kayaker said the two men were still in the river and had been swept downstream.
An Eau Claire police spokesman said the kayaker gave no reason for making up the story.
The Leader-Telegram reported the two-day search involved several agencies, including the state Department of Natural Resources.