Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator
There’s an organization here in Michigan comprised of conservation-minded anglers united behind one simple philosophy: take care of the fish and the fish will take care of itself. The organization is Trout Unlimited and it has a number of chapters here in the Great Lakes State. The City is fortunate to have three chapters active in preserving and improving the fishery of the Clinton River, including the stretch that winds through Auburn Hills.
Over the years, three chapters have been very generous in donating their time and resources improving and enhancing the city’s cold water fishery and helping people enjoy this local resource. Below are just a few examples of this big-hearted organization’s dedication to the City’s fishery.
Give someone a fish and they’ll be happy for a day, teach someone to fish and they’ll enjoy and protect our waterways. Over the last ten years members from the Vanguard Chapter of Trout Unlimited have been volunteering at the Auburn Hills Fishing Derby. During the derby they can often be seen assisting young anglers set up their fishing gear, untangle fishing line, help land a fish, or the ever common request to help unhook a fish. Over the last few years they have also brought an assortment of treats to pass out to every kid participating in the derby which continues to draw more than 80 young anglers each year.
The secret is out. Many anglers in Southeast Michigan have come to realize that Auburn Hills has developed a nice urban fishery. No one knows this better than the members of Trout Unlimited. Improvements to water quality over the years have greatly increased the survival rate of the local fish populations, including trout, a species with a lower tolerance to water pollution and higher water temperatures. As a result of these improvements and increased anglers hours here in Auburn Hills, the Clinton Valley Chapter donated $700 to the City to purchase 200 additional rainbow trout to stock in the river. These extra trout will provide all anglers, young and old, numerous opportunities to catch (and hopefully release) a nice size trout.
Reporting for duty. Every community that has a river running through it has someone who knows the river like the back of their hand. Paul H. Young Chapter President, Brett Watson is one of those guys. He knows the river as well as anyone around and it shows from the fishing reports and photos he sends. The information he provides is of tremendous value. It helps the City demonstrate to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the success we’re having maintaining and improving our water quality and fishery here in Auburn Hills. It also helps confirm that the resources the DNR dedicates to the Clinton River in Auburn Hills provides lasting value to any resident in the state that wishes to fish our waters.
It’s the dedication and generosity like this that Trout Unlimited continues to devote to the Clinton River that enables the DNR to continue their efforts here in Auburn Hills. This year alone the DNR has released over 3,000 trout into the Clinton River at Riverside Park. That’s 1,600 brown trout 4.75” in size, 1,144 brown trout 13”-26” in size, and 350 rainbow trout 14”-16” in size.
Thank you Trout Unlimited. Your generosity is as great as the rivers you fish and care for.