Buck Creek, a tributary to the Grand River, drains about 51 square miles of land in portions of the Cities of Kentwood, Wyoming and Grandville, as well as the more rural areas of Byron and Gaines Township. The creek and its tributaries are currently listed as designated trout streams and have been stocked with brown trout for several years by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Trout stocking was cancelled in 2012 due to ongoing degradation of the stream, until feedback from disgruntled anglers reversed this decision.
According to the Draft Grand River Assessment, “Buck Creek begins as a cold-transitional stream and changes to a warm-transitional stream in the lower half of the watershed. The stream flows through an urban environment and is the receiving water for relatively large amounts of stormwater runoff. Water temperature data for this stream is limited, but indicates that mean temperatures are at the upper thermal limits for supporting trout populations.” “It is possible the stream quality has declined and can no longer sustain a brown trout fishery; further evaluation of this management strategy should be conducted.”
The goals of this project were to establish baseline conditions, to collect water chemistry data and compare them to regional standards, and to determine if Buck Creek is meeting its coldwater fishery designation. Based upon the data collected, Buck Creek is impacted by a variety of issues, but somehow maintains high enough water quality to harbor trout and other coldwater species in portions of the watershed.