Department of Natural Resources stock brown trout

By David Fleet
Ortonville — Local trout are surviving but numbers are low.
Jason Gostiaux, Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist for the Southern Lake Huron Management Unit recently completed a study of the Kearsley Creek.
A team from the DNR recently completed a fish count over about 1,000 feet of the Kearsley Creek south from the Oakwood Road bridge south. A total of 32 brown trout were netted ranging from 5-13 inches with an average just over 8 inches each.
“It’s not the best number, but the Kearsley Creek is one of the few trout options in this area of the state,” said Gostiaux.
For good trout streams about 1,000 fish per mile are needed. The Kearsley Creek is about 190 trout per mile with a range of 50 to 400 trout per mile.
This May, 1,500-2,000 yearling Gilchrist Creek Brown Trout were stocked in the Kearsley Creek at the Oakwood Bridge. The number is down from about 6,000 released in years past which had included planting at the east branch of the Kearsley Creek at Kent Road, and Countyline near Washburn roads.
“Natural reproduction is just not happening,” he said. “Right now it’s, put, grow and take.”
In addition, Paint Creek and the Clinton River will also receive trout as part of the Lake Erie Fish Management waterway.
“There are not many trout options in this area of the state,” he said. “The Kearsley Creek has a marginal habitat for trout.”
Kearsley Creek factors that hinder trout growth are warmer water temperatures, water depth and development along the banks reducing the tree cover.
“It’s been many decades since the shoreline has been natural,” he said. “But there is no data to suggest pollution is a factor in the creek.”
Other factors include a lack of groundwater feeding the creek impacting the temperature.
Trout have been stocked in Kearsley Creek since the 1980s. By June or July the fish will be legal size to be kept.

2 Responses to "Department of Natural Resources stock brown trout"

  1. Troutmastrr   May 24, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Me and a friend fish / walk the river and they grow and some of them are 17inches and 14 and honestly there are some gravel beds I’ve seen by them and gravel flats and it’s really clean and has hundreds of natural springs but most there are mostly just 8inch little aggressive browns and in almost all holes that look good but u gotta hike to get to them but u can get them and when the bite is on it’s amazing

  2. Trout master   May 24, 2022 at 8:17 am

    20 or more trout in the one dayof walking the river that’s a pretty good trout stream and a god damn 20 inch fish but anyone who sees this don’t take the big trout take a pic and nicely put it back.


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