Teamwork cleans up creek

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published May 18, 2016


ROCHESTER HILLS — The Paint Creek is one of the few remaining coldwater-designated trout streams in southeast Michigan, and it’s a popular spot for fly-fishing enthusiasts.

To protect, enhance and promote the natural resource, the Clinton River Watershed Council has teamed with several organizations to create the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project.

Team members include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, Auburn Hills and four Detroit-area Trout Unlimited chapters. All have dedicated time and resources toward stream monitoring, trash cleanups, woody debris management, streambank stabilization and more. 

“With landscape changes and the impacts that commonly occur in our urban watersheds, it is vital that we educate the communities on this unique resource, and continue to protect and restore our coldwater habitats such as Paint Creek,” CRWC ecologist Matt Einheuser said in a statement. “Being river stewards and recreational users of these resources, we work hard every year to protect this for future generations to enjoy as we do.”

Paint Creek is approximately 16 miles in length and is a managed brown trout fishery. The Paint Creek Trail runs adjacent to the stream throughout its entire course, providing access.

The teamwork has generated funding and volunteers from Patagonia, the Consumers Energy Foundation and Orvis. “Having an abundance of coldwater fishing opportunities in an urban area such as the Clinton River watershed is truly amazing,” Orvis store manager and CRCCP volunteer Jason Davis said in a statement.

Participating Detroit-area Trout Unlimited chapters include the Challenge Chapter, the Clinton Valley Chapter, the Paul H. Young Chapter and the Vanguard Chapter.

The Clinton River watershed covers 760 square miles through Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer and St. Clair counties. From its headwaters in Springfield Township, the Clinton River travels 80 miles before emptying into Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township. Over 1.4 million people live in the watershed’s 60 communities.

The CRWC is a nonprofit environmental organization that protects, enhances and celebrates the Clinton River, its watershed and Lake St. Clair. For more information about the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project, visit