What Is A Watershed Anyway?
A watershed is another word for a river basin. It’s an area of land that drains into a common body of water.
Ever wonder where all that rain and melting snow goes when it washes down the drain in the parking lot? In most of Macomb County, the eastern half of Oakland County, and small areas of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties, this water makes its way into the Clinton River and eventually out to Lake St. Clair.
The land that drains into the Clinton River covers 760 square miles and includes over 1,000 miles of streams in addition to the 80-mile-long main branch.
What Is The Clinton River Watershed?
The Clinton River watershed covers approximately 760 square miles in 4 Southeast Michigan counties – about 40% of eastern Oakland County, about 75% of Macomb County, and small portions of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties. The river and its tributaries flow through 60 rural, suburban, and urban communities with a total population of more than 1.4 million.
The river’s headwaters are located in Springfield and Independence townships, and it flows into Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township.
The watershed harbors several high-quality trout streams, including Paint Creek and East Pond Creek. The Main Branch of the river also supports a thriving rainbow trout fishery.
Beautiful inland lakes can be found in the western portion of the watershed.
The river basin is home to a variety of wetland and other ecosystem types, from open marshes rich with waterfowl to hardwood forests sheltering rare wildflowers.