Arctic Grayling Habitat Better Understood

Thursday, February 1, 2018

 

Michigan Arctic Grayling habitat better understood following research project funded by Consumers Energy Foundation. 

 

Last year the Department of Natural Resources, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and Michigan Technical University received a $117,175 grant from Consumers Energy Foundation to support Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative, an effort to reintroduce Arctic Grayling into the state.

 

Work supported by this grant was recently completed and addressed two immediate needs for a successful Arctic Grayling reintroduction. The first was to collect stream habitat and fish community data in the upper Manistee River. This data collection allowed the initiative to both evaluate current stream habitat conditions and develop criteria to determine which other streams may provide suitable habitat for Arctic Grayling.

 

Additionally, funds from the Consumers Energy Foundation grant supported collaboration among interested partners, including the development of the initiative’s official Action Plan, which was released in July 2017. This document provides direction for all activities related to Arctic Grayling reintroduction including research, management, fish production and outreach.

 

“The Consumers Energy Foundation grant, and funds from other contributors, are helping us to move forward with determining how and where we can most effectively reintroduce Arctic Grayling in Michigan,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “We are anxious to use the information we’ve gathered on habitat and fish community data to take the next appropriate steps.”

 

Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative is a statewide partnership effort focused on restoring self-sustaining populations of this native fish and was founded by the DNR and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in June 2016. Interest in this initiative has grown rapidly since 2016, and the partnership now includes more than 40 organizations.

 

For more information on Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative, please visit migrayling.org.

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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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