The Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, announced a proposed initiative in June 2016 that aims to bring back an extirpated species to the state – Arctic grayling.  The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative seeks to establish self-sustaining populations of this species throughout its historical range in Michigan. The initiative has more than 50 partners collaborating on the reintroduction.

The next steps include identifying interest and abilities of partners, collecting baseline data, initiating the building of broodstock and stocking efforts. The Manistee River watershed, once known as a premier grayling river, will be the first location for reintroduction.

The DNR will work closely with partners as the proposed Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative moves forward. The Little River Band, located in Manistee County, has been engaged in extensive research for potential grayling reintroduction for several years.

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Restoring a Michigan Native
Arctic grayling thrived in Northern Michigan's coldwater streams until the onset of the 20th Century. Fishermen and wildlife enthusiasts visited destinations such as the Au Sable River in Grayling for this iridescent fish. But by the 1930s, three factors contributed to the grayling's demise: habitat destruction, unregulated harvest and predation/competition from non-native fish species. The local extinction of this wild fish was a tragic loss for Michigan. View this recent documentary as created by students at Troy Athens High School, their work and dedication to this effort is appreciated now and for generations to come.

Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative documentary film - NEW!

Collaboration

More than 50 partners are on a mission to restore self-sustaining populations of Arctic grayling within its historical range in Michigan.
On this website discover how partners are working together to bring grayling back home to Michigan.