State to launch Arctic grayling recovery project on Big Hole

2013-03-21T00:00:00Z State to launch Arctic grayling recovery project on Big HoleBy Francis Davis of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks hopes to aid the recovery of the Arctic grayling in the Upper Big Hole River beginning this spring.

The FWP’s recovery plan intends to improve the distribution of the fish in the upper Big Hole River near Jackson, as well as in two of the river’s tributaries – Governor Creek and Warm Springs Creek.

At the end of May, the FWP will place between 10 and 30 incubators at different locations in the Big Hole River, as well as the two tributaries. Each of these incubators will be loaded with an estimated 1,000 eggs collected from a broodstock. From those thousands of eggs, the FWP hope a few hundred fish can hatch within three weeks and survive.

The agency plans to repeat the process over a three to five-year period.

The Arctic grayling is found only in Montana among the lower 48 states. Along with being listed as a species of concern by the FWP, the fish is also a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act

FWP Arctic grayling recovery biologist Emily Cayer said her agency has received significant support from private landowners in its recovery efforts. Thirty-three landowners, who own over 160,000 acres along the river, have agreed to assist the government.

Since 2006, the landowners have voluntarily complied with the FWP’s recovery and conservation efforts. In exchange for this compliance, the landowners have received legal assurances that they won’t have to follow additional regulation if the grayling is listed as an endangered species.

“A huge part of this story is the amazing cooperation we’ve received from the landowners,” Cayer said. “Without their cooperation we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Cayer said her agency has attempted to balance its conservation efforts with the business needs of the ranchers who have signed the conservation agreement.

“We’re trying to improve the habitat for the grayling without affecting (the landowners’) bottom line,” she said.

Since 2006, when the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances came into place, the FWP has installed six-miles of riparian fence and three stock water tanks, undertaken stream channel restoration, enhanced vegetation along the banks of the river, removed culverts from the water, and installed fish ladders to help with fish migration.

An environment assessment of the Arctic grayling recovery project has been published, and the FWP is accepting public comment on the project until April 8. That assessment is available on the FWP’s website.

— Reporter Francis Davis can be reached at

francis.davis@mtstandard.com

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. YAFM
    Report Abuse
    YAFM - March 21, 2013 8:30 am
    Where did the eggs come from? Did they catch native grayling and then get the eggs from them, take the eggs out of reds, or are these just straight hatchery grayling?
    Also, if you are going to post a photo of native grayling, please don't post one that shows the wrong way to catch and release a fish. You are not supposed to even take them out of the water, let alone lay them one rocks and pull their dorsal fin up.

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us at editor@mtstandard.com.

If your comment was removed or isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).
  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.
  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.
  5. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
  6. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
  7. Your comment is in really poor taste.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

mothersdaypromo-tile

Follow the Montana Standard

Subscribe to MTStandard.com emails!

Be in the know! Stay plugged in! Sign up for Montana Standard emails in your inbox!

Montana Videos

Footage from 1930: Anaconda Historical Hatchery

Footage from 1930: Anaconda Historical Hatchery

Fish Wildlife and Parks supplied this short video that features footage from 1930 of the Ana…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

Clipped from the Newspaper

Great Butte Businesses

Extras from the paper