History: Chilson Creek flows through land enriched by glaciers with deep deposits of sand and gravel, and is part of the lake belt that stretches through Livingston and Oakland Counties. What was once oak-hickory forests and oak barrens on higher ground and inland wet prairie in low lying areas and along the creek was first converted to farm fields and today is mostly single family homes spread out throughout the landscape and clustered around the lakes.
The two dams creating Lower and Upper Chilson Pond were both constructed in 1961,and are large earthern embankments running 100 feet long and 6 feet tall, and 150 feet long and 10 feet tall, respectively. The dams were build in the Brighton Recreation Area to create shallow lake habitat suitable for waterfowl hunting.
Creekshed Facts: The Chilson creekshed is one of the smaller major drainages in the Huron River, draining only 17 square miles. The creek’s slope (averaging 14 feet per mile) is average for the Huron watershed.
There are 13 lakes (open water > 5 acres) in the creekshed, including the residential East and West Crooked Lake, the dammed Lower and Upper Chilson Ponds, and the forested Bishop Lake which is located in Brighton Recreation Area. The creekshed also contains 22 ponds (open water < 5 acres).
Chilson Creek eventually empties into Zukey Lake, which opens into Strawberry Lake, part of the Chain of Lakes of the Huron River.
Government: The entire creekshed lies in Hamburg and Genoa Townships, Livingston County.