I was down at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington this morning, and I'm pretty sure I saw a beaver swimming in the river. It was noticeable only because the river was so still and you could see the ripples on the surface as it swam underwater. I tried to get a picture, but none were that good because it was too far away.
It would not surprise me if it was a beaver, though. I know they have returned to the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha at Charleston, and they have damaged a number of trees in public park areas.
Perhaps the drop in river traffic has allowed the Ohio to become a more hospitable habitat, or beavers could be like coyotes, eagles and other wildlife that is returning to my area after many years of declining numbers.