Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge | credit: USFWS


The Ohio River begins at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of the Ohio River’s best-known tributaries is the Kanawha River.

In the late 1700’s Thomas Jefferson described the river in his Notes on the State of Virginia as: “The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted.”

Unfortunately, decades of pollution have resulted in fish consumption advisories for many Ohio River fish.

Like other major rivers, navigation along the Ohio River is controlled by a series of locks and dams which are maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In addition to serving maritime commerce, USACE facilities provide public access for fishing, boating, and other activities.

Ohio River fish species include striped bass, hybrid striped bass, white bass, largemouth bass, musky, walleye, sauger, channel catfish, flathead catfish, sunfish, suckers, and others.

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