The Resurgence of Fish in the Cuyahoga River

Just a few decades ago, there were many parts of the Cuyahoga River where fish simply didn’t exist. The water was so polluted that they could not survive. Today, however, is a much different story.

The fish population has exploded. From Steelhead Trout to Bulegill, there are over 65 different species of fish that call the Cuyahoga home. But the rivers success only grows. According to, you can now safely eat fish caught from the river. Back in March, the Ohio EPA lifted restrictions for the river and its watershed, stating the river is now clean enough to do so.

In 1987, the river had been marked with 10 “beneficial use Impairments”. The fish restriction was the third restriction to be lifted since 2017 and the rest will be on their way in the coming future.

This is fantastic to see. This past decade, the city of Cleveland has seen a bit of a resurgence and its as if the river is beginning to mirror it. Northeast Ohio is becoming a place people are proud to call home. I can speak for myself when i travel to other states, whether its to cover an event or taking a trip with my friends, I take pride in telling others I come from Cleveland. The positive momentum has been building and building and the Cuyahoga River is a great example of just that.

Some of the most common fish in the Cuyahoga River are catfish and yellow perch. Brown bullhead and common carp are also in abundance.

The state of Ohio will continue to fund projects in order to improve the overall health of the river and why wouldn’t they when you see results like this. In celebrating the rivers 50th year since its last fire, a fish fry was held this past summer with all the fish coming from the Cuyahoga river. Something many never would of thought to be possible just a few years ago!

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