Fish are biting at local park

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published July 17, 2013

 Brandon Challangoe uses corn for bait to fish for steelhead June 12 at Yates Park.

Brandon Challangoe uses corn for bait to fish for steelhead June 12 at Yates Park.

Photo by Linda Shepard

ROCHESTER HILLS — Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

And Alex and Brandon Challangoe hoped the fish were jumping in the Clinton River at Yates Park July 12.

“We fish a lot,” Alex Challangoe, 13, said. “One to two times a week. Sometimes at Lake St. Clair and sometimes here. It is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.”

The brothers, students at Hart Middle School, said they were fishing for steelhead with corn and lures as bait.

Yates Park, located at the intersection of Dequindre and Avon roads, is a popular spot for steelhead fishing in the Clinton River watershed, according to city officials. Anglers must enter and fish off the north bank of the river; the south bank is private land owned by the Detroit Sportsmen Congress.

A valid fishing license is required, along with a trout and salmon stamp. Licenses can be purchased online at and are good from April 1 of the current year until March 31 of the next year.

The 4-acre scenic Yates Park features picnic tables and grills, and is directly across the street from Yates Cider Mill. A vehicle entry permit is required, and the park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk every day.  

The Clinton River Watershed Council recommends that those fishing for steelheads, also known as rainbow trout, use a catch-and-release method to reduce pressure on the fishery, which exists with the help of a Michigan Department of Natural resources fish-stocking program. The CRWC also said consumption advisories exist for many Great Lakes fish, and the major contaminants of concern are mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs.

Last year, Rochester Hills was the top vote-getter in a national online MillerCoors and River Network campaign for a $25,000 grant. The funds will be used for Clinton River stream bank restoration, public access development and ongoing public awareness initiatives around the Clinton River.

All grant money received will go toward addressing intensive traffic at Yates Park that has contributed to stream bank erosion and the subsequent destruction of fish habitat and water quality. Fishing access points with pathways will be developed, along with signage.

Brandon Challangoe, 12, said his mom brought him and his brother to Yates Park. “She is sitting by the river,” he said. “She doesn’t like fishing as much as we do.”

“Fishing is in the family,” Brandon Challangoe said. “My grandpa and my dad taught us how.”

“Sometimes, it is really busy at this park,” mom Reem Challangoe said from her seat on a bench by the water. “I hope they get some fish.”