Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River Steelhead Fishing Map

Cuyahoga River is a large, shale-bottom tributary to Lake Erie that receives a spring run of Little Manistee steelhead. The Cuyahoga is probably best known as the "river that caught fire" helping to spur the environmental movement in the late 1960's and ultimately to the passing of the Clean Water Act.

Water quality in the Cuyahoga has improved dramatically since the days when it used to burn (it actually caught fire 13 times). If fact, the Cuyahoga River was named as one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998.

Cuyahoga River Steelhead Trout Fishing Map

DIY Fly Fishing Map

Click the map icons to get directions to fishing spots, boat ramps and real-time USGS stream flow data

While the history of the Cuyahoga River is interesting, that's not why you are reading this article. You want to know where to catch steelhead that make an annual run up the Cuyahoga, right?

Fortunately for you, the Ohio DNR has published a map of designated steelhead fishing areas on the lower Cuyahoga River.  Public access points include the Rt. 82 Dam (Brecksville) and Gorge Park (Cleveland Metroparks).

When to Fish Cuyahoga River for Steelhead

The Cuyahoga River fishes best when stream flow is 250-350 cfs. The USGS Cuyahoga River stream gauge at Independence, OH provides real-time stream flow data and is a good indicator of river conditions. Bear in the mind the Cuyahoga River is large river and may take a week or more to clear and return to normal flows following a rain event.


Ideal Flow (cfs)


Average Run-off Time

1 week or more​

Visit our DIY Steelhead Alley Fishing Guide for maps and more information on other Lake Erie tributaries that steelhead like to visit.

About the Author Ken Sperry

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

Olive Woolly Bugger says

There are very few steelhead in the Cuyahoga River between the 2 access points on this map. Downstream of point #1, yes. Not upstream because very few fish can get over the Brunswick Dam at access point 1. Zero fish make it upstream past point #2 in Akron, that dam is 40″ tall at least. And the whole map is rather silly as the entire park as shown is public access along most of the entire river system from Akron to Independence. But there are no steelhead so why bother even though the bike/hike trails are numerous and run along much of the river. The planned destruction of the Brunswick dam will help.

Olive Woolly Bugger says

Another extremely important factoid is the water quality downstream of the Akron sewage treatment facility (Botzum waist water). It is a known hazard during times of heavy rainfall, the waist water gets overflowed into the storm water runoff and it all ends up in the Cuyahoga River creating a casual contact issue (not safe to be in). If they cure the sewage problem and get rid of the 2 remaining dams then we are talking about a world class resource in a metropolitan area. Fixing the Cuyahoga River is a golden ring opportunity for society.

Ken Sperry
Ken Sperry says

Thanks for the intel, I will update the map!

Ken Sperry
Ken Sperry says

Thanks again for the information – good to know!

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