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Cuyahoga River Dam May Be Removed

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by crappiebub, May 3, 2004.

  1. crappiebub

    crappiebub Justcrazy's Guide!

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    Just saw this for those that fish the area. http://www.onnnews.com/story.php?record=30092

    Cuyahoga River Dam May Be Removed
    May 3, 2004

    State environmental officials say they want to remove the largest dam in the Cuyahoga River.

    Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials say the Gorge Park Dam is an obstacle to improving water quality.

    State officials are scheduled to meet later this month with the dam's owner, Akron-based First Energy.

    The 58-foot-tall dam was constructed in 1912 over the site of the Big Falls. The dam provided water to power the Gorge Hydroelectric Power Plant from 1914 to 1958.

    Ohio EPA officials say the dam blocks fish and creates conditions that contribute to extensive algae growths downriver.

    But the biggest problem facing removal is cost. Tons of silt have accumulated behind the dam, and it could be contaminated with toxic chemicals that would be costly to clean up.

    © Associated Press and Dispatch Productions, Inc., 2004. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
     
  2. Kindlebeard

    Kindlebeard OGF Birchbass Champ!!!

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    I thought they might talk about removing other dams in the area. Like the one at LeFevers or the Sheraton. That one seems like to big of a monster. But if they do, I'm gonna be down river hooking some of the monsters hiding in the depths created by the dam. :)
     

  3. KSUFLASH

    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    WOW, now that is some news!!!! I can't imagine the flow rate of the river after that dam would be taken out. Thanks for the insight...

    flash---------------------------------out
     
  4. Sure would be interesting to see the water levels returned to normal. I doubt it will happen though. The costs are astronomical as far as clean up. We're doing the story tonight at 6:30 on TV23.

    Carl
     
  5. Theres a much larger article on Cleveland.com about it...it also discusses what other dams are most likely next on the horizon to be modified or removed.
    Part of the reason this one specifically came up is a group is looking to get the FERC to allow them to look into restoring its hydropower capabilities. As for dams on the 'hoga this one could potentially restore the most benefits and aspects through one project. The impacts to water quality on the cuyahoga due to impoundments are probably one of if not the biggest when you look at it as the entire river. Hopefully something happens though.

    Kent is coming along nicely and that was a wonderful comprimse. Munroe Falls, I personally think got the better end of the comprmise...haha maybe you shouldnt name your city after the artificial waterfalls you created with a dam.
     
  6. Removing the Ed. res. dam as well as the other dams upstream will destroy the mid-stretch fishery of the 'Hoga. However, it's not all that great to begin with so it's no huge loss. Without those dams the 'Hoga is basically one big creek. The indians used the 'Hoga when they migrated south to the Ohio valley and they had to wait until the spring thaw so there would be enough water to float their canoes to the portage trail, (where they hoofed it to fords in the Cascade area and then over to Summit lake and from there to the Tusc, and then to the Musk to the Ohio). What I find interesting is the EPA's motives for removing the dams, "to improve water quality". Ummm. They say it will cost a fortune to remove the dams and then remove the toxic silt that lays on the bottom of Ed. res. and I've no doubt this is true.
    Here is something that makes much more sense. Remove the pollution that degrades the water quality in the first place, instead of simply allowing the pollution to flow faster. By their logic, faster moving sewage isn't as bad as slower moving sewage. :rolleyes: Don't know about that, it all smells about the same to me regardless of how fast it's moving. Instead of spending all that money removing the dams and toxic silt, while leaving the sewage discharges, why not spend the money upgrading the sewers and removing the pollution instead of merely flushing it through faster. Obviously the sewage is still going to be there unless the sewers are upgraded and the sewage redirected to the treatment facilities. Again, what's the diff between fast moving sewage water and slow moving sewage water, it's still polluted. Duhh.
    Sooo EPA, what are the real motives for removing the dams, and in so doing, eliminating all electric generating potential in this area. This "improving the water quality" thing, which it won't, appears to be a ruse.
     
  7. okay being someone that is in a private business version of what the EPA does you are pretty off base but somewhat warranted. This isnt exactly a BIG fishery in NE ohio considering what other rivers there are and the amount of money and effort that goes into the rest of them. Whats the problem with one big creek. Thats what it was prior to all this uncontrolled human impact and then you go so far as to give a historical background about it in its natural state. And you dont just remove toxic sediments. Sediment remediation is an astronimcally exspensive process. The sediment isnt necessarily the man cause of impact. If you go to the EPA site and look under Div of Surface water and read their reports you will see this over the past almost 20 years. Most of the problem is combined sewage overflows, and with every river there are faulty septic issues. You dont just REMOVE those, it occurs every heavy rain because of our horribly poor infrastructure and the MILLIONS of MILLIONS being spent to fix it currently. The impoundments tie into this because these stop up any of that runoff and it backs up producing conditions that decent to high quality aquatic life cannot live in. They also alter the habitat of the river, again changing what kind of things can live there, and negatively effect natural flow/flood patterns. So they are tied into the most crucial problems of the river. You have no idea how many places there are, stretches of river, that have high quality habitat, therefore the potential for a diverse, high quality community of fish and invertebrates and nothing is there but carp and fathead minnows. The issues of flow have NOTHING to do with how fast they want to move the sewage as well, this is just ONE aspect of the overall Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (HUGE artlices about it everywhere), which includes million dollar upgrades in CSOs and waste water and runoff. So they are spedning the money. That plan is total river wide, inclusive of every aspect of every problem. Your conspiracy theory of the EPA trying to stop us from getting "cheap" electricity from hydropower is pretty out there. First of all there are almost no hydro dams being built anymore, any dams at all in the country, because their is such a push to remove them for all of the aforementioned reasons. Secondly any dam in the hoga would generate such little electricity, probably equivalent to a diesel generating statino (20-50mW) that it would put a dent in the grid, and DO YOU HONESTLY think that First Energy or the FERC has any intention of lowering our rates, and moving away from fossil fuels??? gimme a break
    Removing a dam, AND the sediments, which is REQUIRED to assess and carry out any such plan, would INSTANTLY increase the habitat potential and function of the stretch of river. The restored flow would INSTANTLY raise the dissolved oxygen levels and allow things other than Carp to live there becuase they were suffocating and dieing in the past. There is literally NO potential for electricity, they are serving NO function other than nostaliga, and are doing nothing but creating tiny artificila, stagnant pools, where historically one of the most diverse fish and mussel populations of the state once existed.
     
  8. Well I'm certainly delighted to hear that you judge my observations as warranted, I'll be able to sleep now. :rolleyes: Although you also say I'm "off base" which is apparently based on your,(cough, cough), 'professional' opinion. For starters I never indicated there was anything wrong with the 'Hoga being one big creek. What's makes you think I did and btw, what's your problem with my little history info regarding the indians? Why has that got your shorts all bunched up? So far as "uncontrolled human impact" all I can say is that most preferred not to live in Frigidaire boxes with a 2 seater thunderbox dug out back.
    You must be a noob to these sites as I've posted the epa info on cso's, flows and amount, as well as pics of the cso's on numerous occasions on gfo where there was probably more heated 'Hoga 'debate' than on any other topic, (outside of poly sci :D ). I might add that the cso's have been dumping into the 'Hoga for a whole lot longer than 20 years, try at least 60 or so.
    You say that impoundments backup, actually it's 'trap', all that nasty ole runoff preventing "decent to high quality aquatic life" to live in. Well I got news for you bud, the Ed. res. has viable pike, channel cat, (very viable), bass, both large and smallmouth, black and white crappies, perch, gills, sunnies, and in the past white bass, just to name some but certainly not all of the fish there. This diversity will collapse if they blow the dam. I might add that inferring that carp are indecent will cause great angst amongst some forum members, not to mention the carp themselves. I say viable as opposed to strong because fluctuating water levels inhibit the spawn and there is a serious lack of spawning and rearing habitat. This can be said of all the pools.
    You say that I have no idea how many high quality stretches exist that have the potential for a diverse number of fish and invertebrates where only carp and fathead minnows exist. Wrong again pal. I know exactly how many stretches this applies to and I can number them. 0. Nada, zip, zero.
    Name one.
    Besides, draining the water out certainly does't expand the habitat-it practically eliminates it. That's common sense. What "decent" fish can survive in a creek that can't in a res. I flat guarantee that draining the water will NOT expand the diversity or increase the number of fish.
    So far as the generating capacity of the Edison plant is concerned all I can say is that it provided enough power for a big chunk of neo when there was a whole lot more heavy industry and did for 70 years or so as the Akron/Canton area and suburbs grew.
    So here is the bottom line, (since I'm gettin' tired of typing). Spend the bazzillions to blow the dams, oxygenate the water so it's not quite so smelly, remove the toxic sludge that you say, (and I believe as well), that's not the real
    problem, eliminate most of the fish habitat in the process while substantially reducing the diversity at the same time, but keep dumping the sewage in the river, all in the name of improving the fisheries and water quality. Something is wrong with this picture.
    And one more thing. I find it interesting that the epa has made this such an issue just as there was interest in putting the Ed. dam back to use. I might add that actually it was never used to generate power. It was used to impound water which was converted to steam that was used to spin the turbines. It, (the power plant), was always fossil fueled so far as heating the water and converting it to steam.
     
  9. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    I am not an expert on any topic in this thread (water quality, dissolved oxygen, hydroelectricity etc), but I would both miss AND look forward to that dam being removed.

    First, I would miss fishing the Edison pool. I take my canoe out there when I can (it is conveniently 7 minutes away), and catch nice largemouth and many smallies off the rock ledges and where the rapids drop into the pool. I have caught an occasional nice pike there as well, but don't target them. I know there are HUGE ones in there, but they always take my lure because I never have a leader on. And I have sometimes had my pole bend in half, only to have the line sliced by teeth. But if I fish with steelons, I adversely affect my bass chances. This place is truly a fantastic fishery that I have all to myself mostly. I will miss it.

    But on the other hand, I know it should not be there. I support taking the dam out and restoring the stretch of river to it's beautiful nature. That gorge is truly one of Ohio's most impressive physical features, and the rapids and falls under the pool are impressive as well. I have seen a few black and white pics of the falls from which Cuyahoga Falls City was named. Very picturesque. It is rumored by whitewater afficionados, that Glenn's rapids (including the falls by the Sheraton), in addition to the series of potentially nasty rapids under the pool as well as the "flooded" falls themselves, would collectively be one of the most ferocious set of rapids on the east coast, at least during higher water conditions. The large rapids near Broad and Portage Trail are considered "fatal probable" at most water levels because of the undercut nature of the boulders. I would love to see the full beauty of the entire rapids and falls, and would relish the chance (maybe!) to raft them (from below the fatal one of course!). Thankfully, the really nasty rapids afformentioned above, are at the beginning.

    If rafting were allowed, you'd have a nice run through CF, into Baab run park, and into Cascade Valley. Even though it might only be 7 or 8 river miles, it would be one of the nicest whitewater trips, in terms of action, any where within convenient distance. I have been on the Upper & Lower Gauley, the New, upper and lower Yough, the Cheat, Big Sandy, Russel Fork and Upper Hudson in my whitewater lifetime. Nothing beats the upper Gauley, however, and Russel Fork in the gorge and the upper Yough are close seconds and 3rds. If this dam is removed, don't be surprised if an outfitter or 2 pops up to run it commercially! There is no other river within 200 miles that you can get whitewater action like this could offer.

    I'll miss the fishing, but enjoy the scenery and rafting opportunities!
     
  10. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    And Creosote...boy you are right on once again with numerous points! And I find it interesting the the pool was NOT originally designed for Hydro power, but rather steam! It makes 110% sense. Never really thought about it! Why on earth would there be 2 giant chimneys at a HYDRO-ELECTRIC power plant!!!! Of course they burned massive quantities of fossil fuels. And the resevoir would have to be MUCH MUCH bigger to be a hydro-electcic lake, not 3/4 mile long! Try lake MEAD if you want an example of a Hydro plant lake, not little dinky Edison!!!!!!

    Good points and info...

    Creo, when you going out to Mog again? I will be there Sunday all day.
     
  11. Your probably correct about a rafting outfitter. In this case it would probably be the city of Cuy. Falls. They would just replace their pontoon boats with rafts. The run would be short though and after around late June -mid July the rafts would have to be pushed through some of the stretches as there would't be enough water to float them.
    There has indeed been a fatality on the upper stretch of the Glenns rapids. During the early 70's, two boys tried to run their canoe over the Broad Blvd. dam about this time of the year. The water was quite high. One made it when he was washed onto a large rock below the dam. They found the other a few months later floating in the Ed. res. His name was Randy Quay. The grief killed his aged father. I knew the family.
     
  12. It's unlikely that I'll be fishing Mog until mid-late July or early August. That's about the time of year I get the bass bug. Coincidentally it always seems to happen about the same time the walleye bite slows. ;) I'll let you know.
     
  13. Don't forget the two men that died last year kayaking the Cascade stretch below the dam. Rafting and the like would never fly due to the astronomical insurance costs involved. As a matter of fact, I've covered several drownings down there.

    I truly think the dam will stay. The costs are too massive to clean up. Plus, the City of Akron can upgrade the storm/sanitary sewer problem without taking the dam out. And that's what their budgeting on, not a dam removal/clean up.

    The dam removal isn't an Akron plan or a Cuyahoga Falls plan, it's a State EPA plan. If they mandate it, I'd love to see the State try and raise taxes to pay for it. I know the cities sure won't. There's sure as heck no money left to be taxed in Cuyahoga Falls with the construction costs of the behemoth "new" Natatorium. $31 million facility for a town of 50k people?

    Oh well, time to think about fishing this weekend....

    Carl
     
  14. Whats got me in a bunch about it all is the whole gamefish (which is a my interests only approcah) to somethign which goes well beyond a minimal impact sport fishery becuase when you say fishery you mean angling, when i say fishery im talking about every aspect of it. You can post all the raw data you want abut CSO's but it means nothing if its not interprited correctly.

    When i say quality fish and what you think of as high quality fish are totally different things. Every fish you mentionef, first is a gamefish, secondly are considered pollution tolerant fish, and you mentioned roughly over a dozen species. I am talking about fish that historically were in the hoga that are pollution intollerant fish, hence the increase in quality of life, but cannot live there because of loss of habitat, natural flow patterns, and pollution. Things like spotted suckers, various darters, shiners, etc. etc. Your view on habitat is also strictly from a gamefish point of view. A giant pool with no geological structure that functions and woody debris along the bank isnt functionally superior to a meandering stream with riffles runs pools woody debris and vegetation its just the opposite. Look at species lists in OEPA reports, fact of the matter is higher diversities exist in rivers than lakes becuase the varying microhabitats that can exist versus a lake. I really see no difference in back up and trap they are one in the same becuase eventually they do get washed out, i.e. last year and the 100 yr flood that occured. Head out to the parts of Portage County where the headwaters exist sometimes, its a totally different river, totally different communities of fish exist.

    I wasnt really attacking your points or judging you just setting the record straight on a few things from someone that is involved in this.
    But you are "Flat out" wrong on the diversity of the fish and habitat decreasing as a direct result of dam removal. DECENT ..as in pollution intollerant ,considered high quality fish , just do not exist in impounded impaired waters like the hoga, or any other in Ohio. You want examples...how about the eastern sand darter which is on the way to being endangered in ohio, or even better how about the shovelnosed sturgeon, which is only begun to reproduce after a new stock was introduced to the Scioto because they had removed some of the lowhead dams and pools. Many sucker, darter, and shiner/minnow species just cant live in lakes period. LM and SM and sunnies can live in pools and oxbows. There are somehwere around 150 species of fish in ohio...how many are "gamefish"... not even a third...so yes it does have the the oppurtunity to expand its diversity by leaps and bounds. And many of those fish did exist in large populations throughout at one time prior to impoundment.

    Fact of the matter is Carp are nuissance fish, that are the most pollution tolerant of them all, exotics, I mean you can go on and on. Yes they have developed their niche into a sport fishery, but they still are the bottom of the barrel. Ive enjoyed hooking into a carp everynow and then but I would sleep better at night if they werent in the countries waterways, outcompeting native fish to the point of their extinction, increasing turbidity, and altering the plankton levels.
     
  15. I think this is alot scarier of an issue concerning our health and water resources ... http://www.cleveland.com/davisbesse/index.ssf?/base/business/1083754501161330.xml

    Im amazed at how secretive and deceptive (First energy right?) they have been about the problems at besse that we are only finding out about 2 years later. That would have just decimated Erie and downstream for centuries if something would have happened, and they are in a rush to get it back up. Already have had one saftey failure too on attempt to get running again.
     
  16. You are right about the numbers of forage/minnow type fish when compared to 'game' type fish. There are far more minnow species. You are looking at the situation from a aesethics point of view while I'm a bit more pragmatic. There is little interest in observing snail darters and spotted suckers and I think it unlikely there would be a huge demand if Ranger were to market a 'shiner' boat. Fishing oppurtunities in a creek are virtually nonexistent except for those "match the hatch" types who enjoy using microscopic tippets in order to catch bait. Oxbows do provide habitat for game fish in old rivers but in young rivers the spawning and rearing habitat is virtually nonexistent.
    At any rate getting back to my earlier points, all these "remedial" efforts are pointless unless the pollution is removed. Unless this is done the spotted suckers, (less pollution tolerant fish), will still be absent.
    Yes, First Energy is secretive and calculating as your article proves, which btw also verifies one of my earlier points. First Energy does't want the competition that refireing the Ed. plant would provide. That's why the EPA has reared it's ugly head AFTER interest was shown in starting up the Ed plant. Big corps and the gov. can be and do act in an unholy alliance. The energy conglomerates use environmental issues when to their advantage, they really don't give a rats arse about spotted suckers. That is why all the new found interest in removing the Ed dam while allowing the pollution to remain. To expensive to remove the dam AND the cso's as well. I might add that I'd be willing to bet the farm that the dam removal fad across the country is actually an effort to prevent competetion to the corporate energy interests. The environment is simply an excuse to do this.
     
  17. I would definately buy into your ideas on the fads to remove dams. Hydropower is too cost effective for the likes of the energy companies. So they are unforunately jumping on the bandwagon of a positive effort, like restoring watershed integrity and habitat for imperiled fish for removing many dams. There just was a large hydro dam in Maryland removed that was in the range of the Roanoake Logperch and basically put it on the ESA. While I was happy to see a comprimise with the Kent Dam removal the fact they finally justified it by saying it would connect fish movement was hilarious. What fish from lake erie would surive the trip from the lake to kent in the first place even if their were NO dams and the water quality was in its current state...NONE...so why say it was for that...improving water quality and meeting a mandate flow regiment was apparently not good enough so they used something that appeased the public but really had nothing to do with it. In the end everyone benefited from that.

    Unfortunately with so many aspects and sides involved in this they all have their agendas and they all have to hide them to get what they really intend. Y

    Yes my point of view is more aesthitic and overal ecoystem related. Dont get me wrong I love to fish, although I have never fished that part of the river because I am new to the akron area. I might have a little more nostalgia to it if I had/will..but its just my approach to it all from that view. The fishery view is certainly valid, I just make the point of conention that it isnt exactly draining Pymi, or Indian, or anything like that. The money going inot that fishery isnt substantial comparitively in my eyes when we are talking quality of life aquatically and for us.

    Always glad to disagree and share ideas and points of view...
     
  18. Actually the water quality is more than adequate for steelhead to survive as they are caught in the Cascade stretch of the river, which is just downstream from Edison res., every year and have been for several years each spring and fall as they migrate upstream from the lake. The small lowhead dams at Brecksville and Pennisula they can jump in their sleep providing there is enough water for 'traction'. Naturally the Ed. dam is to tall but if that and the dams in Cuy Falls were removed I believe they could jump the Munroe Falls dam if the water was high enough. You got to remember that steelhead originated from the Pacific Northwest where they migrate up the rivers just as salmon do. Unlike salmon they don't die after spawning, they swim back out to sea until the next spawning season. With the removal of all the dams up to Rockwell, it's very likely that the steelies would make the run all the way to the Rockwell dam.