Detroit River
The Detroit River is a crown jewel in the heart of metropolitan chaos. Set between the cities of Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, this 32 mile waterway provides drinking water to more than 5 million people, witnesses the passage of over 85 million tons of cargo each year from around the world, and plays host to thousands of pleasure and fishing craft.

The Detroit River isn't technically a river, but a strait connecting Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. It has been called the most significant natural resource in southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario. It plays a major role in both the U.S. and Canada's economy, facilitating trade by providing a vital route for ocean and Great Lakes freighters to reach Midwest ports.

The Detroit River is highly developed; the City of Detroit occupies the west riverbank, and Windsor the east bank. Numerous factories, power plants, wastewater treatment facilities, and freight docks occupy its shores, and the area is home to nearly 4.3 million people. Two thirds of the Michigan shoreline has been stabilized with iron or concrete seawalls. Although the river has been highly modified by development, it remains un-dammed, allowing passage of fish species including Salmon, Steelhead, Walleye, Sturgeon, and Musky, just to name a few.

Just about every species of fish that are present in the Great Lakes Region exist in the Detroit River. Although no stocking takes place on the river by the MDNR, it remains a very health and productive fishery. In the past, the river has seen stocking of: Wild Rose, Soda Lake, Plymouth Rock and Harrietta strain Brown Trout, Michigan Strain Coho Salmon, and Arlee, Harietta, and Shasta strain Rainbow Trout. It also benefits from stockings of migratory fish in other waterways connected to it.

Fishing opportunities on the river are almost unlimited. From Spring runs of Walleye, Summer Bass, Fall Musky, and Winter Pan Fish, it remains a productive fishery year-round.

  • In 1989 over 83,000 Arlee strain Rainbow Trout were planted.
  • Between 1979 and 1982 an average of 202,000 Coho Salmon were stocked.
  • The rivers average current is 1.7 mph.
  • The deepest point of the river is a little over 60'.
  • At the narrowest point, it's still about 1/2 mile across!
  • With more than 21 islands, the river offers well over 72 miles of shoreline.