FLINT (WJRT) - (02/26/15) - In the past few months, the Flint River has been under scrutiny as the source of Flint water worries, but an advocacy group says it's a wonderful river and it's not the reason for the city's problems.
The Flint River has come a long way in the past 30 years. It used to be filled with industrial pollution and trash. Now it's a great river for fishing, recreation and, the Flint River Watershed Coalition says, for drinking water.
"The Flint River is an amazing asset that flows through our community. The water quality testing shows continuously that our scores are going up," said Rebecca Fedewa, of the Flint River Watershed Coalition.
Given the problems Flint residents have had recently with the water coming out of their taps, some don't think highly of the river.
"River water is a bit more difficult to treat than lake water. It's a different treatment process and the city just doesn't seem to have gotten a handle on that treatment process," Fedewa said.
The river is mostly ice covered now, but in just three of four short months, it will be a great place to spend a weekend or two.
"It's great to just float down the river with your feet dangling in the water. It's a great way to spend a hot summer day," Fedewa said.
Litter is less of an issue these days.
"They used to find cars and other large objects in the river. Now our volunteers are mostly pulling out plastic bottles and plastic bags," Fedewa said.
As the river has become cleaner, fish have returned.
"We have great fishing. We have the Walleye Festival coming up. Small mouth bass fishery is incredible in certain parts of the watershed. We even have trout fishing in certain parts of the watershed. It does have a bad reputation but we're working really hard to change that reputation," Fedewa said.
The Flint River Watershed Coalition says the future of the river looks good. There are plans to develop a park at the former Chevy in the Hole and interest in playing in and along the the edge of the water is growing.