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The OBION RIVER system is the primary surface water drainage system of northwestern Tennessee
Tennessee
. CSX railroad bridge crossing Middle Fork of Obion River
Obion River
NW of Gleason, Tennessee
Tennessee

The Obion has four major forks, the North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork and Rutherford Fork (which is named after the town of Rutherford ). The confluences of these forks are only a few miles above the mouth of the Obion's discharge into the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
. For the greater parts of their lengths, the forks exist as separate streams .

In the mid-20th century, the Obion system was largely channelized for agricultural purposes, under the auspices of the Obion-Forked Deer Basin Authority, a Tennessee
Tennessee
state agency which coordinated this work with the United States Army
United States Army
Corps of Engineers . Some of the results of channelization included increasing erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, and increased flooding downstream. With the restoration of wetlands , this process has now been halted and – in a few places – even somewhat reversed.

The origin of the name "Obion" is obscure, with some contending that it derives from a Native American word and others that it represents a corruption of the name of an Irish trapper , O'Bion or, perhaps, O'Brien.

Obion County , Tennessee
Tennessee
, is named after the Obion River.

After the 1818 Chickasaw
Chickasaw
cession of West Tennessee
Tennessee
(known in Kentucky as Jackson Purchase
Jackson Purchase
) Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett
moved to the South Fork Obion River, until his later move to Texas
Texas
.

SEE ALSO

* List of Tennessee
Tennessee
rivers

.