Frog Hunting and Fishing in the Fox River at Dayton

DAILY EVENTS
Tuesday, June 3, 1890

A sport which is becoming quite popular with Ottawa cigar-makers is frog hunting. George Keim and Morris Flynn captured several dozen of these pet animals at Dayton on Sunday.1

Frogs were not the only sport in the Fox river at Dayton. It was known for the good fishing, attracting people from a wide area. Anglers fished for common snook, redfish, trout, bass, pike, catfish of several species, walleye, and muskellunge.

Our busy little neighbor, Dayton, besides becoming famous for her horse collars, woolen goods, tile and paper, is getting to be quite a popular summer resort. The stream of visitors during the few weeks since the fishing season opened must be enormous, for on every bright day at least the banks of the river are lined with people. As a sample of the size of parties: – Some 25 couples from Streator went up in a special car on Tuesday! Already the campers have begun to put in their appearance, and it is altogether likely that from this time until fall there will be no great diminution in the number of visitors. We should think the citizens would turn this flood of tourists to their advantage; and they certainly could make themselves vastly popular with the people of the Fox River Valley by lending their aid in the suppression of illegal seining in their waters.2

In 1884 a muskellunge was caught at Dayton with a hook and line, that weighed over 32 lbs.! It was over four feet long, and 9 inches across the body.

Fishing is all the rage here now, and a large number of game fish have been caught and carried away during the past two weeks. Good fishermen have caught all the way from 25 to 100 and over of black bass, ranging from one pound to five and six pounds in weight. The river seemed to be full of them and sportsmen are having a jolly time.3

In 1891 it was reported that over 1000 fish were caught at Dayton in a single day.


  1. Ottawa Free Trader, 7 Jun 1890, p. 3, col. 2
  2. Ottawa Free Trader, 27 May 1882, p. 6, col. 1
  3. Ottawa Free Trader, May 12, 1888, p. 8, col. 2

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