A real success story here in north east Ohio is the Cuyahoga River. Once the butt of jokes for catching fire in the 1960s, it has made dramatic improvements in the past 4 decades. While there is a lot of work yet to be done due to the combined storm water and sewage systems of some municipalities, the Cuyahoga has become an excellent fishery for smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, rock bass, sunfish and even the occasional sturgeon from Lake Erie. Catfish and carp are also plentiful and excellent fly fishing quarry. There is also a substantial run of steelhead during fall, winter and spring from the ODNR stocking program in neighboring Lake Erie tributaries. (Yes, steelhead are a totally manmade fishery here but fun none-the-less and bring in an estimated $6 million to the NE Ohio economy)
One of the outstanding features of the Cuyahoga is that much of its length passes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area which offers miles and miles of public access.
As I said there is still work to be done with the municipal sewer systems along with agricultural runoff, dam removal and the channelized mile or two near the mouth but we see steady improvement in water quality and, therefore, fishing quality.
If you’re ever in the area give it a try and tip back a Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing at the end of the day.
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