Brief history of Arctic Grayling in Michigan

THEN & NOW

Arctic Grayling thrived in northern Lower Michigan’s coldwater streams, but by the 1930s, three factors caused their extinction in Michigan: habitat degradation from logging, overfishing, and introduction of predatory species.

Today, this fish is revered as a symbol of clean, cold water. In 2016, partners—including governmental agencies, Native American tribes, universities, and conservation groups—formed the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative. Now we are on a mission to restore wild populations of Grayling within its historic range.

HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPH AS SEEN IN “THE RIVER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD” EXHIBITION AT THE MICHIGAN HISTORY CENTER IN 2018

HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPH AS SEEN IN “THE RIVER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD” EXHIBITION AT THE MICHIGAN HISTORY CENTER IN 2018

Your team at work

THOUGHTFUL PLANNING

Guided by an Action Plan, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians are leading a team of partners. Nearly half of the funds required to reach the $1.1 million goal have been secured. This has enabled critical research such as the first habitat evaluation of the Big Manistee River, led by Michigan Tech PhD Cameron Goble (check out Cameron’s research here), as well as research that looks at the behavior of Grayling in the presence of Brook Trout and Brown Trout, led by Michigan State University PhD candidate Nicole Watson. But there’s more work ahead.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY NICOLE WATSON, PhD CANDIDATE, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

PHOTO PROVIDED BY NICOLE WATSON, PhD CANDIDATE, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

From the heart of Alaska to northern Michigan

UNITED BY CONSERVATION

Bringing wild Grayling eggs donated by the State of Alaska to the State of Michigan requires that MDNR installs an important piece of fisheries equipment at Oden State Fish Hatchery, just outside Petoskey, where a healthy brood stock can be developed. We are just $50,000 shy of the goal of $350,000 to complete the purchase of an ultra violet (UV) water filtration system that will protect the local watershed and serve a long-term role for healthy fisheries production. Students, biologists, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from across the state will be able to visit the Oden Visitor Center to learn about this historic initiative and culturally significant species. We hope you’ll visit, too!

 
Here is a unique opportunity to participate with many people in a historic effort to reintroduce a sorely missed Michigan native.”
— Charles Wilson, Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation
 

What’s next?

There are more habitat evaluations that need to be done, which will require funding. More than 20 rivers were nominated by communities and individuals in Michigan. Find out what streams will be evaluated next, and when eggs will be arriving from Alaska at www.migrayling.org.

What will your donation do?

100% of your donation will go towards efforts to restore Arctic Grayling in its historic range in Michigan.

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