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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Officials move forward on arctic grayling conservation plan

Arctic grayling
Mark Conlin, USFWS
Arctic grayling

An ongoing lawsuit filed by a Butte resident and several conservation groups seeks to force the federal government to reevaluate the grayling as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

State and federal officials are moving forward with a conservation plan designed to bolster one of Montana’s two remaining native arctic grayling populations.

The spawning population of grayling in the Centennial Valley near Yellowstone is at an all-time low. Officials believe a lack of suitable winter habitat in Upper Red Rock Lake is the primary cause of population decline.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will build a pipeline this summer to transport water from a nearby pond into the lake during the winter, increasing oxygen levels in the water and boosting spawning habitat. Officials said this was one of six possible plans, and was chosen because it benefits grayling and minimizes impacts to wilderness.

John joined the Montana Public Radio team in August 2022. Born and raised in Helena, he graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts and created the Montana history podcast Land Grab. John can be contacted at
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