Kalamazoo's freshwater lakes and rivers make it a paradise for fishers, boaters, and adventure-seekers! The various bodies of water and the surrounding waters will provide plenty of fish to catch and even more memories to bring back long after you leave.



Austin Lake 



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Austin Lake is located in Portage, Michigan. This lake is 1,090 acres in size. It is approximately 11 feet deep at its deepest point. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch.




Gull Lake



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Gull Lake is one of the most popular water bodies in the state for bass tournaments. According to the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System, Gull Lake was ranked 2nd on the list of 20 most popular Bass fishing tournament locations in 2020, hosting 57 tournaments. This lake is 2,050 acres in size. It is approximately 110 feet deep at its deepest point. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch.




Trout Trails

Michigan is nationally known as a trout fishing destination. Below are official Michigan Trout Trail locations in Kalamazoo, which are biologist-verified great trout waters that are often lesser known.



Augusta Creek



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The Michigan State University 716 acre W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest is known worldwide for research on tree breeding and genetics research. Activities include fishing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and cross-county skiing, driving the forest loop, and several interpretive trails.  Augusta Creek is a designated Type 4 trout stream from Little Gilkey Lake and Fair Lakes outlets downstream to Knappen Mills Dam.

Access site is within Michigan State University´s W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest located at 7060 North 42nd Street just south of Hwy. M-89 or north of the town of Augusta. Parking is located at the property for several vehicles, but there is no boat launch.




Gull Lake



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Gull Lake is stocked with lake trout, and historically with brown trout with a few brown trout that are naturally reproducing. Gull Lake is a designated Type E trout lake. Lake trout are stocked and limited brown trout are available through natural reproduction. Lake trout are caught from 15 to 22 inches with some larger fish caught at 26 inches.

Prairieville Township Gull Lake Park is located at 15475 S M-43 in Hickory Corners. This site has 92 parking spaces available, 40 with trailers, but is accessed through a pay to park gate. Park is open daily from 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM. This park on Gull Lake has many grassy picnic areas, a boat launch, and playground equipment.




Portage Creek Celery Flats



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Celery Flats is really a park within a park, and a key element of the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park. On the north side of Garden Lane, the Celery Flats Interpretive Center highlights the importance of the celery industry to Kalamazoo County. The Celery Flats Historical Area, with several relocated and restored buildings, is located south of Garden Lane. The Historical Area is the site of many community events and a visit to the Celery Flats offers activities for everyone. The area is equipped with playground facilities, a picnic area and walking trails in every direction.

Brown trout are stocked in Portage Creek, and anglers can expect to catch brown trout between 8 and 15 inches. Access points are along the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park (Celery Flats) between Kilgore and Garden Lane. Parking is available at the Lover’s Lane Trailhead, just south of Kilgore Road, at the main entrance on Milham Avenue just west of Lover’s Lane, and at the Celery Flats Historical Area at Garden Lane.




Lakes within Parks


Fort Custer Recreation Area



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Fort Custer State Recreation Area is a 3,033-acre park featuring three lakes, the Kalamazoo River, a modern and equestrian campground, a swimming beach, boat rentals, more than 40 miles of trails, paddling and fishing opportunities, second-growth forests and remnant areas of prairie. The trail system is popular with mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers and dog sledders.

Bass, blue gill, crappie, pike and channel catfish are found in all three lakes, and each lake has a boating access site. Eagle Lake also includes walleye, carp and northern muskie. An accessible fishing pier is located on Whitford-Lawler Lake. There are many paddling opportunities in the park's three no-wake lakes and the Kalamazoo River. In addition, Simple Adventures offers kayak, stand-up paddle board and canoe rentals at the beach house on Eagle Lake May 15 through Sept. 15.




Markin Glen



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Markin Glen is great for shore fishing for Bass and Blue Gill, with a fishing lake and two fishing piers.




Cold Brook



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Cold Brook has 276 acres consisting primarily of water in the form of three lakes and unique wetlands. The highlands enjoyed by park visitors encompasses about 110 acres. Cold Brook features a campground with 29 improved sites and 14 rustic sites. Other activities include a swimming beach, boat ramp, picnic shelters, playgrounds, disc golf course, fishing, and hiking.




Prairie View



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Located on the shores of Gourdneck and Hogsett Lakes the park offers a premier swimming beach and a pristine natural setting. Prairie View has 5 picnic shelters that are a perfect setting for any gathering. A boat ramp is available for fishing boats only. The most popular species caught here are Largemouth bassNorthern pike, and Rock bass.




The Kalamazoo River



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The Kalamazoo Rivers offers the perfect conditions for shore-fishing. With the shallow waters comes easy wading. The newly paved walking trails leading up to the many access points for the most-experience fishing offers an easier way to access top fishing spots. Expect to reel in a variety of fish such as; Carp, Catfish, Smallmouth Bass,By using the Eat Safe Fish Guide, Michigan fish consumers can be confident they are making informed health  Sucker, Sunfish, Walleye, and Rock Bass! Soak-in the scenic views of the river and nature surrounding it. For more information on Kalamazoo River Fishing, visit these Resources.

The main channel of the Kalamazoo River may be classified as a warm water fishery, but that doesn’t mean it lacks some incredible cold water trout streams. Multiple tributaries of the Kalamazoo are capable of holding trout. Some tributaries are stocked and some rely solely on natural reproduction.



Health notes: The safety and health of visitors and residents of Kalamazoo County is a top priority of Discover Kalamazoo and our partners.

For the Kalamazoo River, we recommend “catch and release” for visiting anglers. By using the Eat Safe Fish Guide, Michigan, fish consumers can be confident they are making informed health choices about eating the fish they catch from a local lake or river.

For more information on where to find, prepare, eat or buy safe fish, visit Michigan.gov/EatSafeFish or call the MDHHS Division of Environmental Health Hotline at 800-648-6942.

Additional references can be found here. Paddlers and others accessing the Kalamazoo River may reference health information here.  Swimming in the Kalamazoo River is at your own risk. For a list of our favorite area beaches, click here.

More information about Portage Creek's health and remediation can be found here