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NE Ohio Regional Sewer District creates buzz to better protect our waterways

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 29, 2022

CLEVELAND — With what looks like giant scalp massagers on the front of their boat, a crew from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District set out on Euclid Creek Friday morning to do a little electrofishing on the Lake Erie tributary.

"We're on rivers from the Rocky River to Chagrin throughout the sewer district's service area," said Justin Telep, NEORSD.

Telep is among those adding a little extra energy into efforts to better protect our environment.

"The water's got to be real low so you can see down and see the fish when you're shocking them," said Telep.

From June through October, these atypical anglers use electrical currents to catch a cross section of native species. The team weighs them and checks for any deformities.

"The fish in the stream give you an overall view of the water quality," said Telep.

The number of each also plays a role in determining how good that water body is as well. The discovery of a northern pike on this excursion gave us an early indication.

"There's a wetland they like to spawn in, so northern pike is a good sign," said Telep.

Also caught in the net somebody's pet.

"This is what happens when you let your goldfish go in Lake Erie, cause they got good food and they can grow really, really big," said Telep.

As they continue to keep tabs, the sewer district is spotting a positive trend overall. The number of fish that are less tolerant to pollution is increasing, which means the water quality is improving.

"We're trying to make a difference in the water quality that we have out there," said John Rhoades, NEORSD.

Once they collect their data, crews return the fish back into the waterway and compare the information collected up against EPA standards to ensure summer fun is safe.

"We want the public to be able to enjoy these resources that we have in the Cleveland area," said Rhoades.

Invasive species

Check out the video below to see how biologists from the Cleveland Metroparks and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources keep tabs on invasive species across Northeast Ohio.

Invasive fish species are a problem in Northeast Ohio waters

Read more here: Invasive fish species are a problem in Northeast Ohio waters