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Arctic Grayling Thymallus arcticus


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Arctic Grayling

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Family: Salmonidae, Trouts view all from this family

Description Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family (family Salmonidae) of order Salmoniformes. It comprises five subspecies native to the Nearctic and Palearctic ecozones. T. a. arcticus is widespread throughout the Arctic and Pacific drainages in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia, as well as the upper Missouri River drainage in Montana. The other subspecies have narrower ranges. T. a. baicalensis is restricted to the Lake Baikal drainage in Russia. T. a. grubii is found only in the Amur basin in east Asia. They were also stocked at Toppings Lake by the Grand Tetons.

Several life history forms of Arctic grayling occur: fluvial populations that live and spawn in rivers; lacustrine populations that live and spawn in lakes; and potamodromous populations that live in lakes and spawn in tributary streams.

The upper Missouri River basin population once merited a high priority for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). This unique southernmost population is now extirpated from all areas of the basin with the exception of the Big Hole River watershed. In preparation for an ESA listing, the US FWS began implementing a "Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances" (CCAA). This agreement would protect cooperating landowners from being prosecuted under the ESA "takings" clause so long as they fulfil specific obligations, spelled out in a contractual arrangement and intended to restore the dwindling population. The CCAA , however, is now in doubt. On 25 April 2007, the FWS removed Big Hole River grayling from ESA candidacy based on arguments that (1) the rarer fluvial populations should not have been "lumped together" with the more common lake-dwelling populations and (2) the Montana grayling populations are insignificant and their loss would be inconsequential given the presence of thriving populations in Alaska.

Dimensions Up to 30" (76 cm); 6 lbs (2.7 kg).

Habitat Lakes & ponds, Rivers & streams.

Range Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Alaska.