Topography and Wetlands
The site is generally a level river flood plain following the course of the Ashtabula River with steep and visually dramatic bluffs bordering both the east and west banks of the river or adjacent park upland areas. This deep-river valley was created during the Pleistocene epoch, approximately 1 million years ago.
A full delineation of wetlands within the park boundaries is not presently contemplated as a requirement of planned improvements. However, two recent State of Ohio bridge replacement/rehabilitation projects have provided a complete wetlands delineation report for two areas within Park boundaries. These delineations show pockets of high-and low-quality wetlands. This information has been included on the map for future planning efforts. (See Topography and Wetlands Map; following page)
Ashtabula River Features
The Ashtabula River Basin drains an area of 137 square miles. The Ashtabula River main-stem originates in eastern Ashtabula County and flows in a northwesterly direction to the City of Ashtabula, where it discharges to Lake Erie. Upland use in the watershed is predominantly rural and agricultural, with the City of Ashtabula the only significant urbanized area. The main-stem of the Ashtabula and conjoining tributaries have been designated warm-water habitat by the State of Ohio, capable of supporting and maintaining a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of warmwater aquatic organisms.
Additionally, the Ashtabula River is designated as a Seasonal Salmonid Habitat, capable of supporting a salmonid migration from October through May.
The positive warm water habitat attributes encountered in the Ashtabula River are largely ascribed to a lack of channelization, wide mature riparian areas, and small acreage farms using conservative practices in the basin. Although the physical habitat is very good, extremely low or intermittent flows occur every summer in the Ashtabula River, limiting the amount of habitat available to aquatic fauna.1
The Ashtabula River is under consideration by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for designation as a State Scenic River.
1 Ashtabula River Partnership Comprehensive Management Plan; Volume 1, 2001