Beneficial Use Impairment 3:
Degradation of Fish Populations

One of the ways we gauge the health and sustainability of our watersheds is to analyze the number, diversity, and pollution tolerance of the species and the fish in any given sample.

The graph above shows the status of the HUC12 subwatersheds relative to the delisting target for the particular stream type.

Yes, it's too small to read. So...either click here to download a pdf that'll be easier to see, or scroll down to see the line graphs for each individual subwatershed.

What the delisting guidance says -

This beneficial use will be considered restored when the following conditions are met:

In the riverine areas upstream from the lake affected waters (lacustuary or fresh water estuary), the average Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and the average Modified Index of Well Being (MIwb) values within an assessment unit do not significantly diverge from state biological criteria.


 *Wading and boat refer to sampling methodology (i.e., wading in shallow water and use of a boat in deeper water)

1Targets for Limited Resource Waters (LRW) are based on benchmarks as there are no criteria in Ohio WQS.


In lake affected waters (lacustuary or fresh water estuary), the average L-IBI and the average MIwb values do not diverge from state guidelines.

Progress toward delisting


• 72% (13 of the 18) of the subwatersheds are below the delisting target.

The areas in attainment are in the Cuyahoga mainstem and Furnace Run.  Among the remaining subwatersheds,  the Doan/Dugway/Ninemile Creek HUC average is 40% below target, and Mill Creek, Big Creek and the headwaters of Little Cuyahoga, at are each approximately 30% below target.

There are still some tributaries with very few or no sampling sites. We have prepared a supplemental sampling plan that might be carried out as soon as the end of 2014 to insure that all HUCs have the necessary data to provide reasonable measurements to assess delisting status.


Status by 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC12)

In the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern, these geographic boundaries are sometimes different than the boundaries defined by topography.

The following graphs show the target scores (dotted lines) and the scores of the most recent sampling.

Click here to download the tables showing the data and sources on which the graphs are based.

Click here to download all the BUI 3a graphs as a pdf file.


This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendations, contained in this product or publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any U.S. EPA or Ohio EPA peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of either Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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formerly Cuyahoga River Community Planning

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