Oakland County boasts more than 1,400 lakes and numerous streams stemming from its six major watersheds. One of the best ways to experience the county's rich water resources is by fishing. The benefits of fishing include spending time near the water, seeing wildlife, experiencing the outdoors and learning to appreciate Oakland County's rich natural heritage.
From shore, docks or boats, five parks offer close-to-home fishing, year-round: Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Orion Oaks and Rose Oaks. Independence Oaks-North’s Upper Bushman Lake is designated catch-and-release-only by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Participants will need a daily park pass or Annual Vehicle Permit for park entry.
The GetOutdoors! Fish Mobile unit offers several options for fishing at your location or local park.
View a Map of Fishing Opportunities in Oakland County. The map lists 74 public access sites throughout the county.
Oakland County Parks fishing at a glance:
Ice Fishing Safety
Don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors. Get out and catch some fish! Ice fishing is fun for all ages and offers great outdoor opportunities to connect with others.
Before heading out, be sure you are fully prepared for your ice fishing trip. Follow these ice fishing tips to create a fun, safe and memorable trip:
Never fish alone.
To ensure better safety, go ice fishing with others. In addition, bring a cell phone with you and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Check weather and ice conditions. Bring a portable radio with you to periodically check weather conditions.
Natural ice should be at least 4 inches thick before walking on it. When walking on ice, it’s also best to walk single-file. If using a snowmobile or ATV, check that ice is at least 6 – 10 inches in thickness.
Stay warm by dressing in layers, especially when ice fishing for long periods of time. Items of clothing to consider: thermal underwear, fleece or wool, and wind and waterproof outerwear. To be fully prepared, leave extra clothes, food and water in your car. If sunny, also consider bringing sunscreen and sunglasses.
Be prepared for emergencies.
Bringing a variety of safety materials and equipment can help ensure that your trip is safe and stress-free. Some items you may want to consider:
Boots or grippers to provide traction when venturing on ice by foot
Compass or GPS
First aid kit for emergencies
Ice picks or awls
Personal flotation device to be worn under your coat
Sled to transport all your ice fishing gear
Be aware of your surroundings.
When you’re out on the ice, watch your step. Avoid ice fishing near feeder streams, logs, plants or docks. Also, steer clear of ice cracks, ice popping and dark-colored ice.
Practice ice etiquette.
Be sure to keep your fishing holes small and few when drilling in the ice. Bigger holes are unnecessary and could pose as a potential safety threat for others.
Groups should also avoid congregating in one area. Weight and fishing holes should be dispersed so that ice does not weaken.
Enjoy the company, natural surroundings and fresh air when you’re out ice fishing. Ice fishing provides great opportunities to learn a unique winter activity and swap fish stories with others. Pack up your gear, take proper safety precautions and catch fish.