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Big Darby in top 10 of most endangered US rivers

Discussion in 'Central Ohio Fishing Reports' started by ShakeDown, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin


    American Rivers' list of 10 rivers it says are the most endangered in 2004. American Rivers, a Washington-based nonprofit conservation group, says the rivers on the list are not necessarily the ones with the worst chronic problems, but those that they say are most in peril because of toxic chemicals, severe water shortages and other problems.

    1. Colorado River. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California.

    2. Big Sunflower River. Mississippi.

    3. Snake River. Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

    4. Tennessee River. Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky.

    5. Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

    6. Spokane River. Idaho and Washington.

    7. Housatonic River. Massachusetts and Connecticut.

    8. Peace River. Florida.

    9. Big Darby Creek. Ohio.

    10. Mississippi River. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
  2. I have always heard that Darby was one of the cleanest creeks around. Is it just from the run off from farm fields or what? There are no big towns or industries on the Big Darby anywhere.

  3. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    They claim it's from all of the development around the creek...New homes, condos, etc...

    I know that parts of the creek have hardcore consumption advisories the past few years, down in the Pickaway county area I believe. I think that's from the prisons and farms.
  4. I would think that the rivers and creeks flowing through Columbus would be worse than Daby. I usually eat a few catfish from there every year, guess I might have to rethink that! :eek:
  5. Bucktail

    Bucktail Banned

    Anytime there is a large metro area such as Columbus has, you have to expect some pollution. The only way to clean it up is, enforce all the laws pertaining to EPA regulations, local & state codes of health. Of course this affects the taxpayer including big business and even the city and county to be up to date with their sewer systems and anything pertaining to waste water. It goes way past that but the buck really stops at everyones house, can we as humans contribute to aiding in the cleaning up of our waters. I know I contribute, how about you ? :cool:
  6. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Bucktail...I agree, it's our own faults. Not doing anything is like condoning it. What do you suggest?
  7. JakeFr5150

    JakeFr5150 Mr. Bug Rod

    Now I don't necessarily agree with Big Darby being in the Top 10. Sure, it has its problem, but I think it is by far one of the top producing streams for me in Central Ohio. There has been problems with runoff for years, but I've never noticed any I'll effects where I fish it, which is over a considerable stretch (basically all of Union and Franklin Counties in various spots). In fact, I would say that my catch rate has increased if anything. I was looking back over my log for the past 2 years and I more than doubled my catches from 2002 in 2003, especialy Smallmouth catches (almost 5 to 2). The problems must be further south on the river - I don't fish down there so I don't know. Perhaps it could be some cross contamination from the Scioto as well? I don't know. Thats my 2 cents.

  8. "the rivers on the list are not necessarily the ones with the worst chronic problems, but those that they say are most in peril because of toxic chemicals, severe water shortages and other problems"

    I think maybe this means that Big Darby is not necessarily more poluted than other rivers in central ohio just that the polution will have a more negative effect on this creek than it will on the others. I dont really know why it would, maybe because its smaller than others but gets the same amount of run-off?? When I first read it I thought it meant that Darby was more poluted but after looking again I guess its not really saying that.
    I have tried to find more info on this but cant, can anyone else??
    As far as fishing, its as good as it has ever been for me down in Pickaway county but that doesnt mean that the water is in great shape.
    So bucktail what do you do? I dont really know what to do other than pick up any trash I find along the creek and where I fish its all private land and there really isnt much of it. I'm open to suggestions. :confused:
  9. I hope that in 10 to 15 years that we are not talking about how great the Darby was. It is a shame that the drive several years ago for a National Wildlife Refuge had not happened about 70 years earlier, perhaps back then it would have come to pass. It is becoming harder and harder for the creek to maintain it's biodiversity, faced with so many new homes and developments. (You know the ones, with names like "The Glens at Stoney Creek" that wistfully suggest a peaceful meadow and a sparkling stream, but never comes through on it's promise.)

    Bucktail is correct, we all have some responsibility in maintaining our water's. We need to do everything we can to insure our waters get as much protection as possible. Unfortunately, as someone else pointed out, money becomes the issue. Our streams and lakes could be much, much cleaner than they are now, but budgets, profits and apathy (myself included) prevent it from happening.

    I guess my biggest complaint and something I am guilty of, is that we all get fired up about people poaching, keeping small fish, keeping more than one can use, snagging, not practicing catch and release, etc... we are ready to phone the wardens and demand action and encourage our fellow fisherman to help root out the bad apples. However, when a consumption advisery comes out or a warning is raised about potential problems, we kinda just sit back, say how sorry we are and hope future problems don't happen. I know this is pie in the sky but, what I wonder what we could accomplish if we and the general public finally said ENOUGH and demanded action? Would that not be more important to our sport's future than debating to keep or not to keep?

    Sorry if I rambled.... back to the grindstone!!
  10. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    I saw this subject on the news here in Columbus yesterday. From what I could tell, the Darby is a very unique river, because of the variety of life that it supports. From what they said, the amount and different species of life that live in that river, makes it like no other in Ohio. That could be why it's the center of attention.

    I don't know much about the Darby, other than the state prisons in Orient had some REAL bad problems with sewage/chemical leaks into that river. So bad, that when I last worked there (this was a year and a half ago), the State of OHio was looking into diverting the stretch that runs behind the prisons, for that very reason. Countless meetings with the EPA about it, and I haven't heard if it ever materialized.
  11. Shakedown, you are correct, the Darby is unique. I suppose that is why it is on that list, it is unlike most other streams in the state. Both in water quality and the amount of species it supports. With the close proximity to the 'burbs of Columbus and then the prison, etc... it really is on the edge of becoming another statistic. I guess that is my problem, we can see the problem and want to fix it or prevent it, but as an average joe citizen, it feels as though our hands are tied.

    Maybe the prison should put the inmates to work cleaning things up, go back to the chain gangs!! Might just kill two birds with one stone!
  12. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Put them to work? Nahhh...they're too busy playing on one of their two putt-putt golf courses in the complex. Nothin more satisfying than seeing a guy convicted of felonious assualt, walking around the yard with a state issued 9 iron. But that's another subject...
  13. Bucktail

    Bucktail Banned

    Let's just take a look at septic systems with leeching for an example, most of these codes or requirements was put into place we'll say 20 years ago or longer and are outdated. In order for a septic system to work it has to have the proper leeching to cleanse the water or otherwise it pollutes the ground and creates runoff which in turn goes into our streams and rivers eventually.

    They say the water that comes out of a correctly installed system is clean enough to be drinkable (I'm not drinking it), it may have been drinkable by those standards 20 years ago but today those systems are so outdated if compared against today's technology of waste water systems. I'm no expert by no means on this subject, but stiffer regulations are needed when it involves wastewater treatment for residents and big business alike to even attempt to try to cleanse the water to todays standards. Now if they forced everyone to install up to date systems, that could and would be a big cost to a resident like you and myself. There are many different opinions on what can be done to cleanse the water, but unless we practice what we preach and do something about it, it will get worse long before it ever gets better. :)
  14. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member


    The exact scenario you describe is happening right now along a section of Big Darby. A new water treatment plant is being built to service hundreds of homes that from the beginning of time have been on some form of septic system.

    This is not an option, all home owners must comply. The costs of demolition of their systems and hookup to the new sewer system in a major expense ($4,000 - $6,000)to many of these homeowners. The state has worked out a no interest loan to the homeowners to cover these expenses. The loan does not have to be repaid until ownership of the house changes.

    I think the state is working hard to fix the problems, but like anything in government it takes a lot of time and money to effect change.

    Do any of you remember when the state purchased all of the land along Big Darby with the intent of building DarbyCreek reservoir? I was really looking forward to living within a couple of miles of the new lake. The decision to not build was partly because of the newly discovered aquatic diversity, ie. snail darter.

    I've lived near the Draby's for almost 30 years and have fished them a lot during that time. Big Darby today is as good as I've seen it in the last 15-20 years. Little Darby is better today than I've ever seen it. The removal of the low dam on Little Darby, where it joins Big darby in Georgesville has really improved Little Darby in every way.

  15. Just my opinion, but I don't think the issues facing the Big Darby are the typical What can I do to clean up my river issues. Every time a new housing development is built in the Big Darby drainage area, another nail is added to the coffin. Housing developers and the city planners that allow it to happen are the targets here. They would build 20-story condos on the rim of the Grand Canyon if they thought they could get away with it. To me this issue is all about saying enough is enough -- or accept the inevitable consequences.
  16. From what I understood from the news report and in an artical of Ohio outdoors is the creek is overpopulated with too many different species.To be honest the artical never mentioned anything about it being too poluted.

    "the rivers on the list are not necessarily the ones with the worst chronic problems, but those that they say are most in peril because of toxic chemicals, severe water shortages and other problems"

    I think the darby falls under "other problems"