I just purchased the book, "Fishes of Ohio", by Milton B. Trautman. (Revised edition 1981). For those of you that are not familiar with Trautman, he is considered the top most authority on fish in Ohio. The book covers every fish known to be in Ohio, up to the time of publication and it is well illustrated. What I am held spellbound by is the historical information (from 1750 to 1980) about the streams and rivers and the quality and quanity of fish during this period, especially the early periods. Just to give you some astounding facts: All rivers in streams prior to the early 1800s were all crystal clear with gravel or bedrock bottoms. it wasn't until after the early 1800s when man began clearing the land that the clays and other silts began forming on the bottoms. The Ohio River even well into the late 1800s was such that during drought times that there were several places the water was no more than 3 feet deep from bank to bank and could be easily crossed. Also noted was the fact the that during winter and spring rains the Ohio could raise more than 30 feet in a very short period of time. Also noted that between 1774 and 1792 there were 3 floods on the Ohio that crested more than 60 feet. Begining in 1883 and series of 53 locks and dams were constructed with the last one finished in 1929. That large numbers of fishes of every kind were in abundance and could be taken by spearing, gigging or in basket traps. It was reported in 1793 that a catfish so large was caught, that 7 people ate on it for 2 days and then what was left was given to the Indians. The Muskingum was clear and shallow and teamed with fish. The Muskingum could only be traversed by boat when the water was high and in 1836 the first dam and lock was constructed and the last one of eleven was constructed in 1841 raising the level of the river so it could be traveled by boat and connecting to the Ohio canal near Dresden. This was the first of such systems built in the U.S. Prior to the dams construction it was crystal clear and fish of every kind was in abundance. Two men traveled from Waterford to Marietta by canoe and would take from 400 to 600 pounds of fish by spearing and gigging them. One observer stated of seeing very large flathead catfish laying at the end of riffles with their mouth open waiting for suckers and othe fishes of a pound or more to swin close and then they would grab them. Fishes such as Muskellunge, drum, walleye, sauger, spotted bass, sturgeon, buffalo fish, carpsuckers, flathead and channel catfish were in great abundance. In 1792 a 96 pound flathead catfish was caught. The Great Miami River was also clear and filled with fish and it is report that in 1794 that a regiment of soldiers buit a funnel fish dam across the river near Hamilton and Butler Counties and on September 3, "we caught 2500 pounds of fish, and about as many on the 4th, which makes about 5000 pounds in 2 nights." There is so much more in this book, but thought maybe a brief climpse of how man has screwed things up over time would be interesting to some. If anyone has a spcific interest in any information about a specific fish, bait or game send me a PM and I will see what I can find in the "Book".