Apple Creek Fishery
In 1998, the Walter Grosjean family donated 80 acres of undeveloped land bordering Rt 30 (E. Lincoln Way) to the city of Wooster for a park. The land is in a flood plain and cannot be developed for playgrounds, ball fields, etc. A one-mile stretch of Apple Creek runs through Grosjean Park. A wooded riparian zone borders the stream.
The Apple Creek watershed drains 55.2 square acres, all from Wayne County, and eventually flows into Killbuck Creek. Apple Creek is a freestone stream fed by numerous springs that keep the water cool during summer months and prevents the stream from completely freezing over during the coldest winter months. Heavy rainstorms overflow the banks of the stream and flood portions of Grosjean Park.
The section of Apple Creek that flows through the Park has never been channelized (straightened) and fallen timber never removed from the stream. Thus, the stream channel meanders through the Park. Fallen trees in the stream divert water in the gravel and sand streambed to form deep holes and runs providing excellent habitat for game fish.
Beginning in 2005, the CFRTU chapter teamed with the City of Wooster and the Ohio Division of Wildlife to create a trout fishery In Apple Creek. That year the stream was successfully stocked with about 1,000 rainbow trout. Since then, the stream has been stocked every year with rainbow and brown trout averaging 14-15 inches in length. Funds from the CFRTU chapter, the City of Wooster and grants from the DOW Outdoor Education program are used to purchase fish from a private fish hatchery in Castalia. The stream is stocked twice in the fall. Free fly-fishing clinics for novice and beginning fly anglers, which are taught by CFRTU members, are offered the same days as the stockings.
Stocked trout survive in the stream all year. Although some trout attempt to reproduce in the creek, creating redds (clearing spawning gravel) and laying eggs, stream sediment smothers the eggs, thus survival of offspring is doubtful.
Each year, school kids participating in the TU Trout in the Classroom program, sponsored by the CFRTU, raise fingerling rainbow trout as a class project and introduce them into Apple Creek in May and June. Some of these fingerlings are known to survive and thrive in the creek.
The CFRTU chapter strongly encourages Catch & Release fishing in Apple Creek, and use of barbless flies and lures. We discourage bait fishing, as trout swallowing baited hooks frequently are injured and do not survive release back into the stream. These practices help to sustain the fish population in the creek year around for a greater number of anglers to enjoy.
The stream harbors a rich invertebrate fauna, especially small caddis flies and mayflies as well as midges that nourish the trout. The stream also hosts large populations of a number of minnow species that serve as trout prey.
Fly anglers will find success with small dry fly patterns such as the Adams or nymph patterns such as hares ear, pheasant tail, prince and the rainbow warrior. Various streamers, especially white or black wooly buggers are effective fishing patterns. At times, egg patterns in orange or pink can be effective.
All anglers 16 years of age and older must possess a valid Ohio fishing license.
We also encourage anglers to report their fishing results to Skip Nault (Fishing Reports)
There is no USGS monitor on the stream to measure water flow and temperature. After rainstorms, Apple Creek clears before the upper portion of the Clear Fork River. A map of Grosjean Park is provided and the stretch of the stream that is stocked is marked with a yellow line. Several trails from the parking lot take anglers to the stream. Anglers wearing hip boots, waders or wet wading can reach the entire stream.
Map to Grosjean Park in Wooster
Note that E Lincoln Way is US 30. Exit US 30 at the Madison Ave. exit and drive north a short distance to Freedlander Rd. Take a right on Freelander and drive to the Grosjean Park parking lot. The stretch of Apple Creek stocked with trout is highlighted in yellow.
Apple Creek Watershed. The blue P on the map indicates parking lot for Grosjean Park.
Wood is Good! Fallen timber in stream diverts water flow in stream bed to create runs and holes, great habitat for trout.