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Arctic Grayling Reports

Upper Big Hole River Arctic Grayling:  Assisted Re-Colonization near Jackson MT

Upper Big Hole River Arctic Grayling: Assisted Re-Colonization near Jackson MT

The enclosed Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for a proposal for Assisted Recolonization of Arctic grayling into eleven locations, in the upper mainstem Big Hole River, Governor Creek, and Warm Springs Creek [Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA) Management Segments A and B (Figures 1 and 2)]. The method would involve using Remote Site Incubators (RSIs) to hatch Arctic grayling eggs from the Big Hole River conservation brood stock directly into upstream sections of the mainstem Big Hole River and tributaries to expand the current distribution of grayling in the Big Hole River system.

(Last Modified March 08, 2013)

2008 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

2008 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

The AGRP was formed in 1989 after declines in the Big Hole grayling population caused concerns among fisheries managers and conservationists. The program¿s goals are to address ecological factors limiting the fluvial Big Hole grayling population, monitor and enhance essential habitats, monitor abundance, distribution, and population demographics, restore additional fluvial grayling populations within native range, develop relationships that promote conservation actions and inform the general public of fluvial grayling conservation efforts and status.

(Last Modified January 26, 2011)

2009 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

2009 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

The conservation goal of the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River (Big Hole Grayling CCAA) is to secure and enhance a population of fluvial (river dwelling) Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus (grayling); within the upper reaches of their historic range in the Big Hole River drainage

(Last Modified May 06, 2010)

2007 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

2007 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

Montana Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) are at the southern extent of Arctic grayling distribution and are discrete from other Arctic grayling populations within their circumpolar range. They are genetically and geographically distinct from populations residing in Canada and Alaska (Kaya 1990). Montana grayling populations can be divided into two life history groups, those exhibiting fluvial (stream dwelling) characteristics and those exhibiting adfluvial (lake dwelling) characteristics. Fluvial populations were historically found in the upper Missouri River drainage upstream from Great Falls (Figure 1). Native adfluvial populations originated in the Red Rock Drainage and in Big Hole drainage (Figure 1). Declines in both native fluvial and adfluvial grayling populations in Montana over the past 30 years have spurred numerous management, conservation, and research actions. Grayling conservation efforts that occurred in 2007 are summarized in this report.

(Last Modified February 16, 2010)

2008 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

2008 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

A Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) is an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and any non Federal entity whereby non Federal property owners who voluntarily agree to manage their lands or waters to remove threats to species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered receive assurances against additional regulatory requirements should that species be subsequently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The conservation goal of the CCAA for the Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River (Big Hole Grayling CCAA) is to secure and enhance a population of fluvial (river-dwelling) Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus); (grayling) within the upper reaches of their historic range in the Big Hole River drainage.

(Last Modified April 17, 2009)

2007 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

2007 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Upper Big Hole River

A Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) is an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and any non Federal entity whereby non Federal property owners who voluntarily agree to manage their lands or waters to remove threats to species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered receive assurances against additional regulatory requirements should that species be subsequently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

(Last Modified May 21, 2008)

2006 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in The Upper Big Hole River

2006 Annual Report - Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Fluvial Arctic Grayling in The Upper Big Hole River

A Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) is an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and any non-Federal entity whereby non-Federal property owners who voluntarily agree to manage their lands or waters to remove threats to species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered receive assurances against additional regulatory requirements should that species be subsequently listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

(Last Modified May 01, 2008)

2006 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

2006 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling Recovery Program; Montana Arctic Grayling

Montana Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus are at the southern extent of Arctic grayling distribution, and are discrete from other Arctic grayling populations within their circumpolar range. They are genetically and geographically distinct from populations residing further north, in Canada and Alaska (Kaya 1990). Montana grayling populations can be divided into two genetic groups, the Big Hole-Madison group, exhibiting fluvial (stream dwelling) life history characteristics, and the Red Rock Lake group, exhibiting adfluvial (lake dwelling) characteristics. Declines in both native fluvial and adfluvial grayling populations in Montana over the past 30 years have spurred numerous management, conservation, and research actions. Grayling conservation efforts that occurred in 2006 are summarized in this report.

(Last Modified August 03, 2007)

2004 A Summary of Angler Surveys from the Upper Ruby River (1999-2003)

2004 A Summary of Angler Surveys from the Upper Ruby River (1999-2003)

Angler surveys were collected from six locations in the upper Ruby River drainage over the period 1999-2003. Data was summarized and analyzed using the 504 angler surveys collected over the five year period. Overall mean catch rates and Arctic grayling mean catch rates were greatest in 2003 at 6.17 fish/hr. And 4.27 fish/hr. respectively. Mean annual catch rates for cutthroat trout, brown trout, and mountain whitefish were highest in 2002 at 1.25 fish/hr., 0.26 fish/hr., and 0.55 fish/hr. respectively. Rainbow trout mean annual catch rates peaked in 2000 at 1.39 fish/hr. Spatial analysis of angling success showed that catch rates for Arctic grayling were highest in Reach B. Catch rates for cutthroat trout were highest in the headwaters of the upper Ruby River (Reach A) and catch rates for rainbow trout and brown trout were highest downstream in Reach D. No statistically significant differences were found for catch rates among study reaches for mountain whitefish and for overall catch rates. Anglers from 39 states and two foreign countries participated in the survey over the period 1999-2003. A vast majority (91%) of the anglers that participated in the survey were flyfisherman. These anglers followed a catch and release philosophy with harvest rates peaking in 2002 at 1.45 percent.

(Last Modified July 06, 2007)

2004 Linking Arctic Grayling Abundance to Physical Habitat Parameters in the Upper Big Hole

2004 Linking Arctic Grayling Abundance to Physical Habitat Parameters in the Upper Big Hole

In 1994, OEA Research, Inc., was retained to survey the physical habitat parameters of the upper Big Hole River. The goal of this report is to correlate these findings to Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) abundance in the survey reaches. The results of our analysis show a wide degree of spatial variability in such habitat parameters as: pool type and quality, riffle stability, stream bank cutting, width-depth ratios, and, most strikingly, the relative of abundance of overhanging vegetation. While the relative abundance of overhanging vegetation was low throughout the study area, it was this parameter that was the best indicator of Arctic grayling abundance in the upper Big Hole River from 1992-1996. Further analysis showed that this may be an indirect relationship as reaches with relatively high amounts of overhanging vegetation also had relatively high quality pools and smaller amounts of bank erosion. It was these relationships that we believe were critical in determining grayling abundance patterns. Our results also provide insight and direction for future stream riparian improvement projects and their importance in preserving this unique and valuable population of fish.

(Last Modified June 15, 2006)

2004 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling (pdf 1.5MB)

2004 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling (pdf 1.5MB)

In 2005, FWP worked with the USFWS, NRCS, and the DNRC to develop the CCAA (Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances) umbrella document that outlines conservation measures and responsibilities of all involved parties should the CCAA be implemented. In addition, efforts were made to inform and guage interest of public and special interest groups, and private landowners in the CCAA program. . . . The CCAA umbrella document and accompanying federal and state environmental assessments were completed and open for public comment from November 23, 2005 to January 23, 2006. If approved, development of site-specific plans with non-federal landowners will begin in 2006. . . . In 2005, approximately 36,351 yearling grayling averaging 8.0 inches were planted in the Madison and Gallatin rivers. . . . Continued efforts in the Upper Ruby, North Fork of the Sun, and Missouri rivers can be attributed in part to the success of the brood program. . . . Not only have we documented natural recruitment in both 2000 and 2002, but also during the past three years RSI techniques have improved, thereby increasing the number of grayling fry entering the Upper Ruby River. . . . [On the North Fork of the Sun River] remote site incubator techniques improved and produced more grayling fry in 2005 than in 2004. . . . Efforts to restore fluvial Arctic grayling populations in the Missouri River headwaters have been challenging and have occurred over a period of extreme drought. Very few grayling were captured during fall population surveys in 2005. This could be a result of limited sampling efforts in a large river system , the timing of surveys, habitat limitations exacerbated by stressful drought conditions, and most likely a combination of all of the above.

(Last Modified June 08, 2006)

2004 Progress Report - Reintroducting Fluvial Arctic Grayling to the Upper Ruby River, Montana

2004 Progress Report - Reintroducting Fluvial Arctic Grayling to the Upper Ruby River, Montana

The decision was made at the 2002 Fluvial Arctic Grayling Workgroup meeting to focus efforts to expand the range of fluvial Arctic grayling in Montana on the upper Ruby River. We achieved this goal by: 1) conducting spring and fall fish population monitoring, 2) a study designed to produce young-of-the-year Arctic grayling using remote site incubators, 3) planting approximately 37,000 fluvial Arctic grayling, 4) a study investigating and comparing the movement and habitat selection patterns of Arctic grayling raised in a hatchery and brood pond environments and stocked in the upper Ruby River, and 5) monitoring stream water temperatures and flows.

(Last Modified June 08, 2006)

2005 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling (pdf 1.22MB)

2005 Monitoring Report - Arctic Grayling (pdf 1.22MB)

Fluvial Arctic grayling monitoring report 2005; Big Hole River and reintroduction efforts; April 2006, Arctic Grayling Recovery Program. / J. Magee, E. Rens, P. Lamothe. The fluvial Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) of the Big Hole River represent the last, strictly fluvial, native grayling population in the contiguous United States. After the population declined during the mid-1980's, the Arctic Grayling Recovery Program (AGRP) was formed, which now includes representatives from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Montana Natural Heritage Program (MNHP), Montana State University (MSU), University of Montana (UM), Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (MCAFS), Montana Trout Unlimited (TU), Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL), and the National Park Service (NPS).

(Last Modified May 30, 2006)