The headwaters of the Missouri River in Montana were once home to thriving populations of fluvial Arctic Grayling far from the rest of their native range. However after years of habitat destruction and introductions of non-native fish the Arctic Grayling has vanished from many of the watersheds that they once inhabited in Montana. Today one of the last strongholds for these fish is in the Big Hole drainage, however even here their populations are in a sharp decline. One of the biggest issues in the watershed has been the over use of water for farming purpose that has resulted in low flows and warm water temperatures. Now the question is can the Grayling be saved.
The Arctic Grayling
One of my good friends Jonathan Stumpf spent much of his time at grad school in Montana looking into the issues that are currently threatening the Big Hole Grayling with the prospect of extinction unless action is taken soon. His story was recently covered in New West Travel and Outdoors and does a great job of showing what is standing in the way of a successful recovery for these rare fish. Please take the time to read through his article at: http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/can_conservation_and_collaboration_save_the_big_hole_grayling/C41/L41/