Grayling Re-introduction in Montana
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has released an Environmental Assessment for a proposal to restore Arctic grayling into several waters in Southwestern Montana. Unlike the Grayling Creek project in YNP, where NPS is instituting a "clean slate" approach (killing all non-native fish prior to release of grayling and westslope cutthroats), Montana FWP is not planning to "manipulate" existing trout populations in the targeted streams/lakes.
Funny, but I must object to the notion this is a reintroduction... They are simply substituting another non-native fish more like the originals. Remeber, fish and wildlife agencies are the ones touting the need to save every strain of salmonid for its unique ability to thrive in specific waters and conditions.
Originally Posted by ScottP
By definition, planting another species is "manipulating" existing populations...
That said, I do not disagree with the idea of getting grayling back in the water, just would rather see them go the extra and use the actual fish that were there.
Originally Posted by hap
Is your concern with grayling in general, which "are native to the Missouri River basin in Southwestern and Central Montana" or the strain in particular that MFWP is intending to use?
Hap, it looks like they are using eggs from existing wild stock and "conservation" broodstock, which I assumes means they are from hatchery reared stock that they know the genetics are from that area. If you mean that the areas that they are reintroducing had genetically diverse grayling in the same drainage then I don't know how they could re-establish from extinct genetics, and therefore, you could be right. I don't think there is any chance of re-establishing the actual Michigan grayling for that very same reason.
Well, I guess I stepped in this one a little bit... My old college Ichthyology Professor (and I thought the texts at the time) called Montana grayling a different subspecies. The link provided does not open for me. In the old days they did not use the term "arctic grayling" but rather Montana grayling... So I assumed they were using non-native stock. Which they are too a lesser degree than I had thought it appears.
Seems like they are on the right track. The Wise River is trib to the Big Hole, which is home to the remaining native population of grayling. Has anyone heard how the grayling in the Ruby are doing. It's been a few years since I was out there.
Last edited by 51BC; 02-28-2014 at 01:55 PM.