Listen to the commentary
Real Audio | MP3 download
The Middle Fork is distinguished from most other streams in east central Illinois by its rock and gravel bed and its remarkably clean water. It supports a great diversity of fish—from tiny, colorful darters to larger sport fish such as channel catfish and smallmouth bass—as well as mussels, crayfish and a variety of other invertebrates.
[Above, author with a nice Middle Fork smallmouth. Photo by G.K. Appler. Below, satellite view showing proximity of ash ponds to river.]