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We know the story of Zanesfield trout waters goes back into early Ohio history. Indians of pre-pioneer days fished here. We know the present site was a marsh with a trout brook running through it to the Mad River. We know there were springs at the south end of the village, the source of the spring brook.

In 1891 Byron G. “Bun” Cushman was a young man. His father, Warren Cushman sent him to Castalia, Ohio to learn trout culture. At Castalia, the first trout in America had been stripped and artificially propagated. By 1913 the Cushman’s had acquired several tracts of land where the club now stands and they were in the trout rearing business. “Bun” Cushman developed the fish rearing facilities and trout holding waters during the 20s and 30s. Several unsuccessful starts at forming a fishing club took place during this period. “Bun” continued raising trout and entertained fisherman on his waters for a fee.

In 1938 Hazard Okey, a lawyer from Columbus, Ohio, acting as the first president of the newly formed Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club signed a lease with Byron G. Cushman and Mary Edna Cushman to use and occupy their property for trout fishing purposes. The lease was for $750.00 a year and limited the membership to 50 members. Mr. Okey acquired the old T &O C railroad station and moved it to the site where the Stag lodge now stands. The railroad station became the first club house. In 1941 the club entered into a land contract with the Cushman family to purchase the original club. “Bun” Cushman died in 1956 and his son Warren became the club manager. During Warren’s tenure of 24 years the club prospered. His son Byron was a valued employee of the club for 45 years from 1968 through 2013. The club is indebted to the Cushman family for their dedication to the trout culture and fishing at Zanesfield Rod & Gun Club.

From these beginnings the club has grown to a membership of over 200 anglers. Many improvements have been made to the club. Land acquisitions have increased the club’s property holdings to 220 acres. The recent addition of 14 enclosed fish holding tanks in the nursery insures a consistent supply of rainbow. brown and brook trout for the anglers.

If you are interested in more historical facts about the club, refer to a detailed history of the club written by Jack Klages in 1990.



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