Beneficial Use Impairment 4:
Fish Tumors or Other Deformities

What the delisting guidance says -

Progress toward delisting

Further sampling is necessary.

Recent ODNR fish sampling in ship channel showed a few DELTs on captured flathead, channel catfish and pumpkinseed.

Pending sediment remediation in the Old River Channel is targeted at reducing brown bullhead liver tumors, and
followup monitoring will be required.

The impairment will be considered for delisting when:

The average DELT values within the assessment unit do not exceed either:

  • DELT values of 3% (lacustuary and boat sites), or
  • DELT values 1.3% (wading sites);


Where brown bullheads are present, the liver tumor prevalence rate (i.e., neoplastic or preneoplastic liver tumors) should not exceed 5%.


Two studies are currently underway to determine the background rates for tumor and deformity incidence rates in Ohio AOCs.  Once the studies are complete, Ohio EPA will review the results and determine if the current target should be revised.

Brown bullhead liver tumor prevalence rates are evaluated in specified stream reaches within the AOC where populations are likely to be present.

Ohio EPA has identified the lacustuary zones of the following streams and reaches in the Cuyahoga River AOC for the evaluation of brown bullhead liver tumor incidence rates:

i. Mainstem/Marina

ii. Old Channel

iii. Euclid Creek



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.

 Cuyahoga River Restoration
formerly Cuyahoga River Community Planning

is the local 501c3 facilitating organization that raises funds, manages programs and projects, including this website, and coordinates, staffs, and assists the Advisory Committee.

1299 Superior Ave. E • Cleveland, OH 44114
216-241-2414 •