Posts Tagged ‘Fishing’

Follow the Huron River Water Trail to adventure . . .

Try Fishing a Stretch of the Huron’s Productive Waters


I love to explore the watershed and hunt for fish habitat. The Huron River watershed is full of great habitat for a variety of species including sport fishes like small and large-mouth bass, rock bass, perch, steelhead, walleye and pike, and many other unique and diverse species. I like to fly fish the river and some of the larger tributaries for bass because bass are aggressive predators and strong fighters and I enjoy trying to mimic their prey. I am getting better at actually catching them, and our productive river is a good teacher with its wide gentle flow and lots of good hidey holes for big and small fish alike. Mostly, I just like the peaceful time to stand in the flow and take in the sights and sounds of life along the river.

Fly fish the Huron River.

Fly fish the Huron River.

Now that my kids are bigger, I have started taking each of them along with me. Both enjoy different aspects of the experience. Foster likes to think like a fish, while Ally likes being in the water and perfecting her casting skill.

One of our favorite places to fish is along Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. The river is wide there and fairly easy to navigate. We usually start by paying a visit to Schultz Outfitters to get the low down on river conditions and what the fish are feeding on. They have lots of great flies to fill our bait boxes as well. This stretch of the river has LOTS of bass! Most of them are on the small side, but since the RiverUp! restoration project was completed, the guides have been seeing some larger catch.

Ally with her first lake fish

Ally with her first lake fish

There are other great places to fish along the river. There is really good lake fishing in many of the in-line lakes throughout the watershed, and many river runs near Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, and Flat Rock. One of our most memorable times was when my wife caught her first fish while we were canoeing upstream of Barton Pond. She was so excited that she screamed and frightened then 2-year-old Ally.

Have fun, stay safe with these TIPS from the Trail!

Join HRWC for Huron River Appreciation Day, Sunday July 10! Come along on a guided trip of the Huron River Water Trail in Dexter, paddle the Lower Huron from Flat Rock or paddle to Milford from Proud Lake, hear a talk on paddling safety and get a free life jacket, hear a river history talk or learn to fly fish! 

Huron River Appreciation Day is sponsored by TOYOTA.

F3T this Friday!

F3T2016This Friday evening HRWC will be at the Michigan Theater for the Fly Fishing Film Tour (

We’ll be hanging out with some of the Huron’s biggest supporters (and HRWC’s too!). This is an amazing event for those new to the sport as well as long-time enthusiasts. I especially love that the movies tell amazing stories of beautiful places and inspiring people. They’re each a quick journey into far away adventures, this year’s list is amazing – Guyana, Scandinavia, BC, Zambia – I’m excited!

Join us for another lovely evening with new and old friends! Tickets at Schultz Outfitters ( or online.

If you haven’t seen our fly fishing video yet, check it out here.


Here’s What A River Renaissance Looks Like

Fly fishing in Ypsilanti.

Three short films are being released by the Huron River Watershed Council that share stories of the renaissance happening along the Huron River.

“Fly Fishing the Huron” is the first and features small business owner Mike Schultz and his Ypsilanti-based Schultz Outfitters: Fly Fishing Guides & Destination Travel. The film revolves around the Single Fly Tournament, capsule hosted by Schultz Outfitters on July 20, 2014. Schultz’s enthusiasm and commitment have contributed to the revitalization of the local Ypsilanti business community and have helped sparked the popularity of fly fishing along the Huron River.

7 Cylinders Studio of Ann Arbor worked with HRWC over the summer producing “Fly Fishing the Huron” to share the vision of RiverUp!, cialis a plan for the Huron River’s future. RiverUp! is a strategy to realize the goal of a vibrant, robust, and restored river as a destination for residents, visitors, hospital and businesses. Additional films to be released in the RiverUp! series include Dexter’s transformation of its waterfront and the creation of the Huron River Water Trail.

HRWC leads RiverUp! in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Office, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the Wolfpack, a group of 75 business and community leaders and organizations.

Do You Need a Fishing License for That?

In case you need more evidence that storm drains really do connect directly to streams and rivers, spend the next minute watching a young man fishing in his neighborhood storm drain. The video, and others like it, are courtesy of Kyle Naegeli of Texas via his YouTube channel. Tips for protecting water quality in curb and gutter areas include capturing rain water at home and limiting salt use on sidewalks and driveways. Check out more tips on our website under Take Action.

Still from Kyle Naegeli’s fishing video


The Fish are Jumpin’!

Participants in the 2013 Huron River Single Fly Tournament

Participants in the 2013 Huron River Single Fly Tournament

For the first time in the three-year run of the event, I was finally confident enough to give the Huron River Single-Fly Tournament a try — and I am so glad that I did! It was great to meet the 24 passionate anglers and hear how much they knew about the river, the fish, their food and habitat. Many told me how happy they were to have a quality river with lots of healthy fish running through a dynamic, urban population center.

Proceeds from the entrance fees and donations went to our “River Up!” initiative. The tournament raised over $3,000 for the program, as all fees and donations were matched by the Erb Foundation. That money will be used in the program to clean up areas along the river, improve access, and transform the Huron River corridor into a recreation destination.

Mike Schultz, partners and staff at Schultz Outfitters did a great job organizing the event and making sure everyone had a fun and safe time. He and his crew provide equipment and advice to make it easy for noobs like me.

As all the teams went to to their favorite spots, I was impressed by the number and variety of good fishing locations offered to me and my partner, Sean (pictured below at an undisclosed location). We chose a busy section at Island Park in Ann Arbor to start, where we met dozens of paddlers and tubers all interested in what we were catching (quite a few little small-mouth bass, as it turned out). It was great to see such a variety of activities taking place on our river.

Participant Sean Hickey in the 2013 Huron River Single Fly Tournament

Participant Sean Hickey in the 2013 Huron River Single Fly Tournament

As we moved to a different site, the traffic subsided and I was reminded about the power the river possesses. The ample rain we’ve had has kept river flows up, which has made for interesting paddling and fishing conditions. While it had not rained much over the previous week, the river flow was still up, thanks to the abundant natural land cover that keeps the groundwater flow slow and strong. We noticed that some earlier canoeists may not have been ready for these conditions earlier in the season.

This canoe wreckage offers a warning to unprepared paddlers about the power of the river.

This canoe wreckage offers a warning to unprepared paddlers about the power of the river.

While I enjoyed my time casting into spots that looked like good hiding places for big fish, as the river gently, but noticeably embraced me, I was reminded of the connection to the natural world that inspired me to become a watershed planner in the first place. Whether it is fishing, paddling, rowing, swimming, or just taking a stroll along its banks, I encourage you all to get out and enjoy this wonderful resource we have in our back yards. Then come back and do what you can to make it even better.

To see who won the Single Fly Tournament and plan for your participation next year, visit the tournament webpage.

Climate Change and Fish… What will happen?

The future of fish

The future of cold-water fish, like these rainbow trout, is quite grim.

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a two-day workshop exploring the connections between streams, climate change, and fish populations.  The centerpiece of this workshop was a climate change-fish vulnerability model developed by a partnership between the US Geological Survey (USGS), Michigan State University, and state agencies in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  This model makes predictions of how likely stream fish populations are to change under a range of climate change scenarios.  The information can be used by water resource managers trying to understanding which fish and which streams are most at risk from climate change.

Nuts and bolts of the fish vulnerability model

Global circulation models (GCMs) are used by climate scientists to make predictions about how the Earth’s climate is going to change in the future.  There are a wide variety of GCMs, all based on differing assumptions, and as a result they produce different results in terms of the predicted rates of climate change.  Interestingly, all of the models do share some commonalities:

  • The Earth is warming
  • Winter is going to warm more than the summer
  • Winters will be wetter
  • The northern US will warm more than the south
  • Inland areas will warm more than along coastlines
  • Extreme events will be more common

The fish vulnerability model produced by the USGS and its partners uses ten of these differing GCMs and combines their climate predictions with predictions of fish presence and absence.  An example is the best way to show how this works. Let’s say a particular stream holds brook trout currently.  Due to temperature increases and changes in water flow by 2050, this stream is predicted to have lost the fish  under GCMs #1-7.  However, under GCMs #8-10, the fish is still expected to remain in the creek.  Therefore, 7 out of the 10 climate change scenarios predict that the fish will be eliminated from this creek by the year 2050.  The fish’s vulnerability to climate-change is said to be 70% for this particular stream.

The USGS and its partners ran this model across the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota for 14 species of fish (i.e. brook trout, brown trout, mottled sculpin, northern pike, smallmouth bass, common carp, etc).  For each fish and on every stream in these states, they have produced a predicted vulnerability for that species- the percentage chance that the fish will disappear in the future.

Management implications

If the model predicts a fish to be missing from a stream under all 10 of the GCMs, this means that even under lenient climate change scenarios, this fish will disappear and managing this stream for the preservation of the fish is most likely to be a lost cause.  The predicted vulnerability of this fish in this stream is 100%.

If the model predicts a fish to be present in a stream under all 10 GCMs, this indicates that this fish is very resilient against climate change, or that the stream is not expected to change much, even under the most severe climate change scenarios.  Managers can leave these streams alone; the predicted vulnerability of this fish in this stream is 0%.

However, if the model predicts that under some GCMs the fish will leave, and under other GCMs that the fish will stay, then water resource managers have something to work with.  This model result means that the stream may be borderline for the fish in the future, and managers have a chance to keep the fish there if they can work towards making the stream more “climate change resilient”. Management activities should center on promoting rainfall infiltration and groundwater recharge.  Activities like building rain gardens, maintaining and expanding our natural areas, and reducing the amount of impervious surface will provide greater opportunity for rain to percolate into the ground rather than running overland to the stream.

Groundwater is the key to climate change resiliency because in the summer when fish populations are most stressed due to high water temperatures and low rainfall, groundwater inputs maintain flow and cooler temperatures. Groundwater temperature is usually the same as the average annual air temperature because of the length of time the water spends underground.  Therefore in the summer, groundwater is relatively cold as compared to surface water. Also, groundwater is released consistently to the stream, unlike sporadic rainfall, thus giving constant flow even under drought conditions.

Stay Tuned…

The USGS  is in the process of developing  a web-based map to display their model results so that the information can be readily used by water resource managers.  This web-based map and the model results are not ready for public consumption, but I will post a link from this blog when it is.

Hundreds of Carp Die Near Kent Lake

The common carp (credit: US Fish and Wildlife).

“Up to 500 carp died over the weekend at Kensington Metropark’s Kent Lake and portions of the Huron River, likely due to a virus called spring viremia of carp, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.”

The spring viremia virus is only known to affect carp and poses no threats to humans or other animals.  However, the rotting corpses are being cleaned up by Metropark Staff to minimize the odor and prevent possible E.Coli contamination.

See this article from the Livingston Daily.

Attention Anglers! Join the Virtual Creel Survey!

Gary Slauter fishes the Huron.

HRWC would like the assistance of all of the dedicated anglers out there who enjoy fishing throughout the Huron River watershed. We are developing an angler database that contains pictures of anglers and their catches, decease their location, and the numbers and sizes of the fish that they caught.  This information will be put into the Google Earth application and served on the HRWC website  so everyone can see the wealth of fish that the Huron possesses!  Along with Michigan DNR fish surveys, this database can serve as a way of quantifying changes in fish populations over time as well as being a useful tool for all prospective anglers out there.

If you are interested in participating, please email Paul Steen ( the following information:

  • A picture of the fish(es), and yourself (if possible)
  • Date
  • Location of the catch (latitude and longitude would be great but not required)
  • Species caught
  • Size (in inches)
  • Number caught in each size class

Fly Fish the Huron in June

Saturday June 26, 2010 11am – 6pm

The angler with the most fish caught on ONE FLY wins!

Sign up today for the 1st Annual Huron River Single Fly Tournament! Everyone has a chance to win prizes, raffles and auctions. It’s easy! Pick your best fly and fish it till you lose it. Prizes include fly rods, reels, gear, gift certificates and more. All proceeds benefit the Huron River Watershed Council’s water quality programs for the Huron River.

There is a Pre-Party on Friday night at Jolly Pumpkin on Main St in Ann Arbor.  Did you know that the NY Times rated Ron Jeffries Oro de Calabaza Belgian Ale as the best in the country? Yes it did, and you can have that Belgian Ale at the Pre-Party!

More information on HRWC’s Single Fly Tournament Page, including registration and fees.

Saturday June 26, 2010 11am — 6pm

Check-in for tournament at Colton Bay Outfitters (CBO) by 10am

CBO is located at 4844 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103-1899

Fishing starts at 11am

Must be back at CBO by 6pm

Food and drinks will start at CBO at 6pm with awards and prizes to follow

Registration is limited and ends on June 21, 2010

QUESTIONS call Colton Bay and ask for Shultzy or Eirik (734) 222-9776

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