The Mohican River watershed in north-central Ohio is in good condition, according to an Ohio EPA draft water quality report about the watershed. The Agency is accepting comments on the draft report until January 5, 2015.
Stream data was collected throughout the watershed in 2007. The draft report includes conclusions from the data analysis and suggestions for improving water quality where impairments were identified. Ohio EPA works with federal, state and local partners to accomplish improvements through both regulatory and voluntary activities.
The watershed drains 1,004 square miles and includes areas within Ashland, Coshocton, Crawford, Holmes, Knox, Medina, Morrow, Richland and Wayne counties. The watershed consists mostly of forests and agricultural land. It includes all or parts of 18 municipalities including Ashland, Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby. It also is a popular recreation region, featuring Mohican State Park and several commercial canoe liveries.
Ohio EPA’s study evaluates water quality for both aquatic wildlife and human recreation uses. The Mohican River and its tributaries are some of the highest quality streams in the state. Seventy-four percent of the sites sampled fully met aquatic life use goals and another 14 percent met some but not all goals. Based on E.coli levels, only 13 percent of the sites met the recreational use goals.
Public comments on the report are important because a water quality restoration plan is community driven, relying on local officials, watershed groups and landowners to implement many of the strategies for improving their watershed.