Locally extinct for 100 years, Grayling being restored to Michigan’s rivers

The state of Michigan and a Native American tribe have teamed up in an effort to bring back a species of fish wiped out in Michigan.

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is working with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians to establish new populations of Arctic grayling.

The Little River Band, in Manistee County, has engaged in extensive research for potential grayling reintroduction for several years, officials said.

The state’s native grayling population died off nearly a century ago after statewide logging efforts in 1800s, overfishing and habitat destruction.

A fish native to Michigan and Montana, the Arctic grayling is slate blue in color with a sail-like dorsal fin.

Mature fish grow to about 12 to 14 inches in length, said Todd Grischke, the DNR’s Lake Huron Basin coordinator.

The fish were once virtually the only native stream salmonid in the state’s Lower Peninsula.

Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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