DNR Fisheries Continues To Deliver

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Back on April 21, 1980, the DNR Fisheries Division began stocking the Clinton River in Downtown Auburn Hills.  They delivered 2,110 smallmouth bass to the stretch of the Clinton River that flows through Riverside Park that first year.

We’re pleased to announce that the 37-year tradition continues.  Yesterday the DNR released 2,400 brown trout into the river – making it a total of 512,113 fish released over the life of this program.  The species stocked the first year included pike and smallmouth bass before switching to the more familiar rainbow trout and brown trout in the years that followed.

The purpose of the DNR’s annual stocking program, which is funded through fishing license fees, is to help support your local urban fishery. This is similar to the program the City created in partnership with DNR Fisheries, the Clinton River Watershed Council and the four chapters of Trout Unlimited (Challenge, Clinton Valley, Paul H. Young, and Vanguard).

The increase in angling hours on the Clinton River in Downtown Auburn Hills is one factor the DNR uses in determining the release site, something the City is proud to see grow in popularity over the years. We look forward to seeing the many anglers in the area explore and enjoy one of our region’s greatest natural resources – the Clinton River.

In Search Of….

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) is looking for volunteer field researchers to help search for a rare macroinvertebrate called the Stonefly Nymph.  This creature measures about 7-12 mm long and is most active and easily found in January when the water temperature is very cold.

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Finding a Stonefly in your local river or stream is a good indicator that the water quality is high and finding one in the Clinton River will go a long way in helping to dispel the myth that it is still polluted.

If you enjoy being outdoors in winter and would like to search for these telling macroinvertebrates, you can join the CRWC staff at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21st for their annual Winter Stonefly Search.

Staff and volunteers will meet at the CRWC office at 1115 W. Avon Road in Rochester Hills.  From there, the group will split into teams and travel to 15 different sampling locations throughout the watershed, including Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  Once teams have finished their site research, all will meet back at the office for pizza, snacks and hot beverages.

stonefly

Everyone is welcome to join the search.  Participants can bring their own waders but the CRWC will have a few extra pairs on hand for those who choose to get in the water.  The search goes on regardless of the weather so dress warmly.

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Registration is required by January 12th.  Please contact the CRWC office at (248) 601-0606 or e-mail registration@crwc.org to register or for additional information.

Avondale Students Monitor Water Quality, Find Good News

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

On May 24, 2016, over 200 students from Avondale High School headed out to Riverside Park to assess the health of the Clinton River.  These students, guided by their teachers, parents, volunteer mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the City of Auburn Hills conducted water quality tests and scientific surveys to determine the overall water quality of the river.

kids in river

For over 14 years, students have been monitoring the health of the river through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s ‘Stream Leaders’ Program.  In addition to collecting stream habitat and chemical data, students geared-up and collected an assortment of macroinvertebrates from the river to identify and count.

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The students were simply amazed at the aquatic life they found which included caddisfly larvae, mayfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, scuds, crayfish, midges and aquatic worms.  These species are some of the most pollution-sensitive; their presence indicates good quality water.

kids

There is little doubt that the overall health of the Clinton River has improved throughout the years.  Recent data indicates that this section of the Clinton River is close to a rating of ‘excellent’. For more information on how you can protect water quality, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.  To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s ‘Stream Leaders’ program, please visit www.clintonriver.org.

FCA Motor Citizens Recognized for Stewardship Efforts

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The City of Auburn Hills would like to congratulate FCA Motor Citizens, a volunteer corps assembled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, for receiving the Clinton River Watershed Council’s 2015 Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award.

FCA Motor Citizens were presented with the Award for their longtime support and stewardship efforts in keeping our waterways clean.  The great majority of their efforts were achieved through their participation in CRWC stewardship programs, such as Weekly Clean, Clinton Cleanup, and woody debris removal events.

Left: Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council Middle: Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler Right: Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

From left, Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council; Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler; Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

FCA Motor Citizens provides dozens of volunteers to these stewardship efforts each year which equates to hundreds of hours spent cleaning up trash and other debris from the Clinton River, its watershed and Lake St. Clair.  The time that FCA Motor Citizens continues to provide CRWC and the community in the form of positive and hardworking volunteers, shows their commitment to protecting our waterways for all to enjoy.

The Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award was created to recognize individuals for their extraordinary commitment of time, talents and resources to fostering improvement and protection of the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair.

Click the links to learn about volunteer opportunities in and around the Clinton River Watershed and the City of Auburn Hills’ Keep it Clean program.

Splish’in and a Splash’in

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Splish, splash, splish, splash.  That’s the sound you will hear at the starting line for the 7th Annual Paddlepalooza scheduled for Saturday, May 30th.

splish

This event, held in partnership with the City of Rochester Hills and the Clinton River Watershed Council, offers kayakers and canoers alike an opportunity to explore and enjoy the Clinton River and our natural resources.  The event begins at Riverside Park in Auburn Hills and ends eight miles downstream at River Crest Banquet Center, located in Rochester Hills.

Each year over 80 people participate in this river celebration that includes a one-person kayak race (men’s division and women’s division), a two-person canoe race and an adventure paddle for those wanting to take a more leisurely pace along the way.  Another highlight of the event will be the much-anticipated canoe race between Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills for the coveted Mayors Cup.

A raffle will be held for participants at the finish line while they enjoy hotdogs, chips and lemonade at River Crest Banquet Center.  For more information about the event, please visit our website by clicking here.

The Mysterious Creatures in the Clinton River

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

Many people are familiar with legendary creatures like Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman, made popular again recently by Animal Planet’s TV show “Finding Bigfoot”.  The show involves a team of four researchers known as the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) traveling the world in search of the elusive creature to prove its existence is not a myth.  They even made a stop here in Michigan to search for the creature, but were unable to get a glimpse.  So, their myth continues.

On Saturday, January 18th, the Clinton River Watershed Council is looking for volunteer field researchers to find evidence of another elusive creature.  This creature is not seven feet tall, but a little over seven millimeters long.  It’s not a mammal, but an insect.  It’s not a myth, but indeed very real.  The creature is none other than the elusive Stonefly Nymph.

Stone Fly

Stone Fly

Finding a Stonefly Nymph in your local river or stream indicates its water quality is high, not low, since it is one of the most sensitive of all aquatic macro invertebrates that live in our waters.  Finding a Stonefly Nymph in the Clinton River will help dispel the myth that the Clinton River is still polluted.

These insects are most active and easily found in the month of January when the water temperature is very cold and there is still plenty of leafy debris in the river bottom for Stoneflies to forage on.  This means that this group of volunteer field researchers will have a great deal more success than the BFRO has ever had.

If you are interested in searching for elusive creatures and solving mysteries like the BFRO, but with a higher chance of success, stop on by the Clinton River Watershed Council office, located at 1115 W. Avon Road in Rochester Hills at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, January 18th.  From there, volunteers will split into teams and travel to 15 sampling locations, including Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  Volunteers will then meet back at the office for lunch and hot beverages.

Searching for Stone Flies

Searching for Stone Flies

Participants can bring their own waders.  The CRWC will have a few extra pairs on hand for those who choose to get in the water.  They meet regardless of the weather so dress warmly and come help us search for these river critters!

For additional information please contact the CRWC’s Amanda Parka at 248-601-0606 or amanda@crwc.org.

Keeping Our Waterways Clean

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

On the clear sunny day of September 21, 2013, a group of 20 volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Troy, OHM Advisors, communities around Southeast Michigan, and believe it or not, Meridian, Idaho converged on stretch of the Clinton River from River Woods Park to the City’s Skate Park.

This group of dedicated volunteers worked together as a team to remove over fifteen bags of garbage; cleared a large amount of branches, limbs, and other woody debris from the river and the river’s edge; and removed one logjam throughout the one-half mile stretch of river traversing along and between the two parks.

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This annual clean-up effort not only helps keep our river clean but also helps prevent erosion and allows the Clinton River to flow more freely.  In addition to improving the environment, this was an excellent opportunity for people to work as a team towards a common goal that benefits the entire community.  It is this type of dedication and enthusiasm that has made the Clinton River Clean-up so successful.

May people who live, work, play, and visit Auburn Hills are beginning to realize the beautiful river system that exists, right in the heart of Downtown Auburn hills.  The extraordinary effort these volunteers contributed this year will allow people to better enjoy the river while fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or sightseeing.

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The City of Auburn Hills would like to send out a special thank you to all the volunteers who participated in this year’s clean-up effort.