MI fisheries survey work paints clearer picture of Oakland County’s Paint Creek

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently concluded a mark and recapture fisheries survey on Paint Creek in Oakland County to better understand the waterbody’s brown trout population.

Get an inside look at the survey work in this brief video.

The DNR manages a portion of Paint Creek, downstream from Lake Orion, as a high-quality brown trout stream – as evidenced by its inclusion in the department’s Trout Trails online application.

“Brown trout naturally reproduce in Paint Creek, but we stock an additional 5,600 yearling brown trout each year to supplement that population and create more fishing opportunities,” said local DNR fisheries biologist Cleyo Harris.

The recent survey, conducted late this summer, used electrofishing to generate population estimates at certain spots along the stream. On average, 130 brown trout were found per mile in the upper portions of Paint Creek (upstream of Gunn Road) and 400 brown trout per mile in the lower portions (downstream of Gunn Road). The lower portion of the stream is slightly wider and provides a little more available habitat.

Steelhead also were found during the survey, having made their way into Paint Creek from the Clinton River. Roughly 27,000 steelhead are stocked annually by the DNR into the Clinton River downstream of Yates Dam.

The section from Gunn Road upstream to the Lake Orion Dam and the section from Tienken Road downstream to the Clinton River are regulated as a Type 1 trout stream. The section between Gunn Road and Tienken Road is managed with gear-restricted regulations (artificial lures only, daily possession limit of two trout and a minimum size limit of 14 inches for all trout).

Those looking for an opportunity to fish Paint Creek should keep in mind that the season closes Saturday, Sept. 30.

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