There has been an effort in the recent years to reverse the damage in stream ecosystems produced by the transformation of the natural landscapes into agricultural and urban land uses. Although many studies address hydrologic, hydraulic, and water quality changes in streams associated with land use change, there is still a need to relate land use change to shifts in species to identify specific causes of ecosystem changes observed. Starting in the late 1800's the landscape in Champaign County, east central Illinois, has been modified from a natural wet prairie to productive agricultural land. And modification of the streams has included channelization and dredging. This paper will assess the ecological consequence of land use and channel change by analyzing change in fish communities. The interpretation of community change will use an autecological approach, which assists in identifying relationships between habitat change and fish habitat requirements, and therefore support watershed management and restoration design.