Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, April 1, 2013

ODOT Adorably Plans Fish "Rest Stops" for Cuyahoga

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

The Ship Channel: Like Mordor, But With Water
  • The Ship Channel: Like Mordor, But With Water

As you may recall from watching acclaimed nature documentary Finding Nemo, being a fish is a rough gig, and for aquatic wildlife in the Cuyahoga, it pretty much sucks total butt. Never mind egg-munching barracudas, sadistic captors, and Ellen Degeneres—fish migrating through the Cuyahoga’s 5-mile ship channel downtown to the mouth of Lake Erie have to weather abrupt shifts in water temperature (like someone flushing while you’re taking a shower, except actually harrowing), your poopy poop-infused poopwater (sorry, "wastewater treatment plant bypasses"), inhospitable armored bulkheads, and whatever gross “urban runoff”—syringes, Doritos Locos taco sleeves, Machine Gun Kelly bandanas—you jerks chuck in there.

As Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization executive director Jane Goodman told the PD, “If fish are trying to migrate to the lake to spawn, they really have to work at passing through this ship channel.” It’s almost as bad as passing through the dreaded “Bravo channel.” Which is why Goodman is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on a habitat restoration project to provide refuge for our fishy friends during their grueling journey—vegetation-filled fish “rest stops” installed in steel sheet pile bulkheads near the new bridge as part of the ODOT's Innerbelt plan.

Submerged aquatic vegetation, essential for ecosystem-wide functions like providing oxygen, trapping sediment, improving water quality, and sheltering larval fish and other small organisms, has steadily declined in the Cuyahoga, but Goodman hopes the revegetation will furnish “a little rest stop, a place to get some oxygen, for these fish that are living in really difficult circumstances.” Good on them for sticking a bunch of seagrass in the bulkheads, but we’re kinda holding out for underwater service plaza Sbarros for all the Cuyahoga’s weary travelers. But hey, at least they don’t have to dodge potholes.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.