Support for Arctic Grayling Initiative

Rotary Charities of Traverse City provides grant to support fund development for Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative.

The Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City to facilitate a fund development strategy to support Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative.

This 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 (LRBOI) in June 2016. The partnership includes more than 40 organizations.

The $10,000 grant will support grant research and writing by NorthSky Nonprofit Network, a management support organization administered through Rotary Charities. The project will include a fund development strategy matching public and private funding sources with project phases and the development of the initial grant applications to secure funding for initial phases of the Arctic Grayling reintroduction.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our organizations to be a catalyst for what we hope will be the historic return of the Grayling to northern Michigan streams,” said Marsha Smith, executive director of Rotary Charities. “We are impressed by the scale of this partnership. This kind of collaboration is exactly what will generate important solutions for our region and all of Michigan.”

The first stage of Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative is expected to take five years of research project development, acquisition of fertilized eggs from Montana and/or Alaska, raising fry (small fish) in a controlled environment, and research to assess acclimation, mortality and other factors.

“Securing this grant will lay the foundation for developing funds from public and private sources this project requires to move forward,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “This is an effort that needs to be owned by many organizations if it is to achieve its intended historic results.”

This is the second of two grants awarded to support the reintroduction of Arctic Grayling. The first came from the Consumers Energy Foundation to the tune of $117,000 to support identifying prime northern Michigan streams for this work.

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

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