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Trout In The Suburbs

Paint Creek is the most accessible trout stream to a majority of Michigan’s population and one of the very few in southeast Michigan.
Paint Creek restoration highlights chapter partnership potential in metro Detroit. 

“It’s hard to believe there’s a trout stream 10 feet from this road,” remarked Joe Bruce, conservation committee chair for the Vanguard Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “It’s pretty unique.” 

We stood at a crosswalk waiting for heavy traffic crossing a bridge over Paint Creek in the middle of Rochester Hills, Michigan – a northern suburb of Detroit in heavily-populated Oakland County – with Michigan Trout Unlimited aquatic ecologist Kristin Thomas, Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) executive director Jennifer Hill, and CRWC watershed ecologist Mikela Dean.  

We’d just toured the results of the chapter’s Paint Creek restoration project, which the chapter, contractors and volunteers finished early after a little over a week of installing in-stream habitat to transform relatively flat, featureless stream stretches into riffle-pool-cover habitat. This work also helped reduce bank erosion threatening to undercut the Paint Creek Trail, a gravel rail-to-trail that parallels the stream.

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