A Record Crowd Celebrates River Day

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The 14th Annual Auburn Hills Fishing Derby was held last Saturday on June 10th to celebrate River Day, and a record 114 young anglers were on hand for the occasion.  Warm weather, high waters and a river full of rainbow trout greeted over 160 attendees.

Derby participants tested their skills and patience in catching one of the 500 rainbow trout the City had released into the river.  Not every kid was fortunate enough to catch a fish (which must be why they call it “fishing” instead of “catching”) but all 114 kids walked away with a raffle prize thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters.

Hats off to our Premier Sponsor, Bass Pro Shop, who stepped up big by donating 200 slightly used rods and reels for the City to refurbish and assemble for the raffle.

If you missed the Derby, there is still plenty of time to fish in Riverside Park or River Woods Park, although now you might need a little more patience to land one of the 15” rainbow trout now that they aren’t confined to just a small section of the river.

For information on what action you can take to protect our water resources and our resident trout population, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.php or http://www.crwc.org/.

A special thank you to all of our Fishing Derby sponsors and supporters.

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.


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.

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

Fish Tales

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

In celebration of River Day,  71 youthful fishing enthusiast participated the 11th Annual Auburn Hills Fishing Derby held at Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills this past Saturday.


There were plenty of fish caught and even more family memories made during the perfect sun filled day.


Volunteers from Trout Unlimited Vanguard Chapter were on hand to provide assistance to anyone who might have hooked into one of the 650 rainbow trout released in the river for the derby.  Thanks to Bass Pro Shop, the Derby’s main sponsor, every kid walked away with a raffle prize.


To view pictures of the event please visit the Auburn Hills Facebook Page.  https://www.facebook.com/CityofAuburnHills

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Net

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

You may recall similar words being uttered by Sheriff Brody aboard the boat ORCA in the movie Jaws.  Well, if you plan on fishing the Clinton River in the City of Auburn Hills this year here is some similar advice … you’re going to need a bigger net.

jaws brody

Why, might you ask?  Well, once in a great while the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Division has some extra adult trout on hand to release at one of the many stocking locations they have in our great State.  These adult fish are not available on a regular basis, so they are considered “extra” fish, above and beyond their regular annual allotment.

I’m pleased to report that earlier this week the DNR selected the Clinton River at Riverside Park as the location to release these extra fish.  As it worked out, in addition to the annual allotment of around 1,500 yearling brown trout (7-9 inches) stocked at Riverside Park, the DNR released over 750 adult brown (13-26 inches) and adult rainbow (14-16 inches) trout.  That’s not a typo; a small number of the brown trout surpass the 2-foot mark.

History was also made as it was the first time ever the DNR stocked adult rainbow trout – and they did it right here in the City of Auburn Hills.

Skinner 3 005

So, if you have any plans to fish the Clinton River in the City of Auburn Hills, take my advice and bring a bigger net.  You don’t want to let the big one get away!

A Chance to Make a Difference

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

About 40 years ago, America had a tremendous pollution problem in its waterways.  Why?Well, some businesses made it common practice to dump toxins and garbage into our lakes and streams – even the groundwater.  As a result, no one wanted to go near them.

Rivers should not catch on fire

Close to home, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire twice (1952/1969) and Lake Erie was declared dead.  Something had to be done.

So in 1972, the Federal Government revised the Clean Water Act, which gave the law its current shape.  For those history buffs, the statute was originally enacted in 1948.  In plain english, the goal of the Act has been to make our waters “swimmable and fishable.”  It’s important to understand how far we have come.

Unbelievably, only one-third of America’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters were considered fishable and swimmable back in 1972 .  Today, approximately two-thirds of our waters are healthy.  No doubt, the country has made great progress in reducing pollution.

Here in the City of Auburn Hills, we are now seeing more anglers catching trout at both Riverside Park and River Woods Park along the Clinton River.   An increasing number of kayakers and canoers are visiting our City to begin their journey down the river.  Their quest is often rewarded with some wonderful views of wildlife.

However, even with these improvements many challenges remain and we must continue to work together to protect clean water for our families and future generations.  Everyone has an impact on our waters and we are all responsible for making a difference.

How can you help?  The City of Auburn Hills is having its annual Clinton River Clean Up on Saturday, September 8th from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm.

Volunteers will meet at River Woods Park (N. Squirrel Road, just south of M-59) and then will disperse to cleanup sites along the river.  Folks are advised to wear work clothes and sturdy shoes, as well as gloves.

This is one day everyone – residents, businesses, and community organizations alike – can help make a difference and keep our waters clean.

Volunteers from last year’s Clinton River Cleanup

So, this is a great volunteer opportunity for a variety of different groups from businesses, universities, high schools, religious organizations, boy and girl scout troops, neighborhood groups, and other civic-minded folks.   You can make a huge difference in a short period of time.

Mark your calendars and let us know if you can help.  For more information, please contact Shawn Keenan by phone at 248-364-6926 or by e-mail at skeenan@auburnhills.org.  We would love to see you there!