A Fish Story … You’ll Have To See To Believe!

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

It’s April 9th and well past April Fools’ Day, so you might be more inclined to believe my “fish story.”

Well, there are some big fish swimming in the Clinton River right now, and they happen to be residing in the City of Auburn Hills.  How could I be so sure this news is no joke?  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Fisheries Division were rotating out brown and rainbow trout from their hatchery broodstock program and decided to release the adult trout on March 26th at Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills.  We have photos!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that Riverside Park is one of the MDNR’s stocking locations along the Clinton River because the City offers a number of locations where anglers can fish from the bank or enter the waters.  Riverside Park and River Woods Park are the two most popular parks where you might see someone cast a line into the water in hopes of catching a fish or two.

For those looking for more specifics a total of 672 brown and rainbow trout averaging 19 inches (almost two feet long) were released into the river.  This is only the second time the MDNR has released adult trout into the river.

So, if fishing happens to be one of your favorite past times, and you don’t want to take a three-hour drive up north to the Au Sable River, why not test your skills right here in Downtown Auburn Hills.  Thank you, MDNR Fisheries Division!

Friendly Reminder: As of April 1, 2018 anglers will need a new fishing license and brush-up on some new fishing regulations.  Please see Stream Type 3 below for the fishing regulations for the main branch of the Clinton River.

Protect Water Quality: Use Brine Instead Of Rock Salt

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

We all know that salt keeps our communities safe by reducing the number of vehicle accidents, as well as slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, salt doesn’t just disappear when all the snow melts; it is washed into our lakes, rivers, and streams and has an almost immediate effect on water quality.  As a homeowner, consider reducing salt use by applying brine, not rock salt, before a snow storm and shoveling frequently to keep snow from accumulating.  This is the best way to save your back, your knees, and our local rivers like the Clinton and Rouge!

Salt washed into storm sewers impact local waterways, like our Clinton River

Brine, a mixture of salt and water, has become a great alternative to traditional rock salt,  The transition to using brine for a homeowner has minimal costs.  Brine can be pre-mixed in large quantities and stored in your basement or garage.  By spraying brine, you have more control over your application, so you don’t apply over the same area twice, and it won’t bounce off the driveway the way rock salt can.  Brine starts working much faster than rock salt due to the increased contact area with the snow.  The best method is to apply the brine before a snow storm begins.

For more information on how you can improve and protect your local rivers, lakes, and streams, please visit our website.  To report pollution, please call our Department at 248-364-6900.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Come Celebrate River Day In Downtown Auburn Hills

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

In celebration of River Day, the City of Auburn Hills is holding its 13th Annual Fishing Derby at Riverside Park this Saturday, June 11th.  Kids 16 and under will have the opportunity to test their fishing skills by trying to catch any one of the 550 rainbow trout released into the river.


Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., fishing starts at 8:00 a.m. and lasts until 10:00 a.m.  A raffle will be held after the derby when kids will have an opportunity to win an assortment of prizes from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.  Fishing for all ages begins at 10:00 a.m.

No fishing license is required since the derby is held on the DNR’s free fishing weekend.

  • All anglers are advised to bring their own equipment
  • No fly rods, treble-hooks or multi-hooks
  • Catch and release only

To see what action you can take to protect our water resources and our resident trout population, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.php

Fishing derby sponsors w title

High Spirits In Low Water

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Over 120 devoted paddlers participated in the 8th Annual Paddlepalooza that took place on Saturday, June 4th.  Although the water level was a bit low this year, it didn’t seem to dampen the spirit, fun and enthusiasm of this year’s participants.


This year twenty-three men and thirteen women participated in the one-person kayak race and five teams participated in the two-person canoe race.  All remaining river buffs to a more pleasant pace down the river enjoying the views and activities nature has to offer on a bright sunny day.


Each year teams from Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, the two cities that organize the event, have a friendly race for the Mayor’s Challenge Cup.   We’re pleased to announce that Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens, successfully defended the Mayor’s Cup.  This is Mayor McDaniel’s second victory in a row.  Rochester Hills Mayor Brian Barnett and his brother Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett were a formidable team.

All those involved in this year’s event enjoyed a nice lunch on the patio of River Crest Banquet Facility, while swapping stories of their journey down the river.

Winners in the One Person Kayak Race – Men’s Division

  1. Vince Schrand (left) 1:40.22
  2. Ken Rieth (middle) 1:40.30
  3. John Carrick (right) 1:41.50


Winners in the One Person Kayak Race – Women’s Division

  1. Stacy Miller-Serota (right) 1:49.50
  2. Taylor Sloan (left) 1:56.44
  3. Gwenn Stevenson (middle) 1:59.07


Winners in the Two-Person Canoe Race

  1. Don Peterka and Todd Sand (front center) 1:58.23
  2. Jeff Leblanc and Tim Sosko (back right) 2:11.12
  3. Samuel Addy and Ali Ahmed (back left) 2:23.55


Winner of the Mayor’s Challenge Cup


Mayor Kevin McDaniel (center left) and James Stevens (center right) – Team Auburn Hills

Mayor Bryan Barnett (right) and Supervisor Chris Barnett (left) – Team Rochester Hills

Click here to see more photos from the event.




On Your Mark, Get Set, Row!

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The 8th Annual Paddlepalooza is set for Saturday, June 4th.  This river 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.


For those with a more competitive edge, participants can enter one of three race events; the one-person kayak race (men’s and women’s division) or the two-person canoe race.  Teams placing first will receive a $100 gift card from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World or Summit Sports.


Speaking of the competitive spirit, this is also the day the City of Auburn Hills will be defending the coveted “Mayor’s Cup” from the City of Rochester Hills.  Yes, last year Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens, aka Team Auburn Hills, successfully defended the cup for the second year in a row.  The Mayor’s Cup series is now tied with each City having three wins to their name.


A raffle, for various items provided by Moosejaw, will be held for participants at the finish line while they enjoy hot dogs, chips and lemonade at River Crest Banquet Center.  Click here for more information about the event.