Species Missing From Michigan for 100 Years is Coming Back
It has been tried before without success, but new technology has created hope for bringing back a species which has been missing from Michigan for almost a century.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, have announced their plans to bring the Arctic grayling back to Michigan. The species died off in Michigan nearly 100 years ago.
The proposed initiative, announced at last week’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Gaylord, will seek to establish self-sustaining populations of Arctic grayling.
The Arctic grayling is a native and iconic fish species in Michigan. Slate blue in color, they have a sail-like dorsal fin and were virtually the only native stream salmonid in the Lower Peninsula. In the lower 48 states they are native only to Michigan and Montana.
Michigan’s native grayling population died off nearly a century ago due to statewide logging efforts of the 1800s, over-fishing and general habitat destruction.
There have been other, unsuccessful reintroduction efforts. The most recent was 30 years ago. The Little River Band, located in Manistee County, has been preparing for the potential grayling reintroduction for several years.
The effort will lean heavily on recent scientific research in Michigan, as well as the successes Montana has achieved in re-establishing stable Arctic grayling populations.