Clinton River steelhead release highlights cleanup success
Written by Detroit Free Press   
Wednesday, 20 April 2005 12:48
An increase in this spring's steelhead trout release in the Clinton River is another sign of the success in bringing back the once heavily contaminated waterway for recreational fishing.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday dropped 25,000 steelhead into the Clinton, up from 15,000 last year. The release occurred in Macomb County's Shelby Township, north of Detroit.

The DNR has been releasing the fish into the river for 20 years to create a trout fishery in metropolitan Detroit, but the effort has been growing. In 2003 the agency released 30,000 -- twice as many as it had at any one time previously.

The effort is working, said Jim Francis, a fish biologist with the DNR in charge of the Clinton River trout program.

"About 40 percent of the state's population is in southeast Michigan," Francis told The Detroit News. "We have some beautiful rivers up north, but not everybody has the luxury to drive all the way up there to fish. So the idea is to bring up north to lower Michigan."

Since the state began stocking the Clinton River with the popular game fish in 1985, the number of anglers who fish the river has increased every year, Francis said.

After the trout are released, they migrate down the Clinton River into Lake St. Clair, and then into Lake Huron and Lake Erie. In two or three years, the fish will return to the Clinton River to spawn.

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