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Caught in the Hocking River in Athens, Ohio, in 1963, this eastern hellbender specimen was roughly 50-80 years old and over two feet long when it died. Hellbenders were reported in the Hocking until an Army Corps of engineers project rerouted and widened it in the 80s, slowing the water down and increasing silt and agricultural runoff. Eggs and juveniles are also particularly sensitive to acid mine drainage — dwindling reports in Southeast Ohio have always been of older specimens. Currently the nearest population of hellbenders to Athens lives in Captina Creek in Belmont County — Southeast Ohio’s last pristine creek.