.. The catching of this fish didn't become a pilgrimage for us until about 4 - 5 years ago, when we noticed that they were particularly difficult to catch in Yellowstone National Park. Granted, it's possible to catch the Fluvial Grayling other places - but not many: maybe none if the USFWS has it's way.
"Ever since the fish was first documented to be in danger by the FWS in 1982, the agency has done just about everything it could to avoid listing."
.. On April 24, 2007 the EPA denied that the Fluvial Arctic Grayling of the upper Missouri River basin, [[ i.e. Big Hole River ]] was a Distinct Population Segment, and therefore not entitled to listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. This action closely followed the denial of the Westslope Cutthroat as a separate species by a federal judge, in March.
.. The EPA denial brought quick responses from bloggers. Ralph Maughan, on April 25 noted that:
"We are witnessing the political dismemberment of what is supposed to be an agency guided by science - instead plundered by political obstructionists and public land profiteers."
.. On the same day Ecorover Pat Munday delivered two posts about the Grayling: "Who Killed Big Hole Grayling? A not-so-mysterious murder." AND "US Fish & Wildlife Service: Big Hole River grayling are not significant."
.. A day later we posted a note, and The Trout Underground noted that:
"Astoundingly, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has once again denied species protection (under the ESA) to the fluvial grayling.It’s clearly a political move; the fluvial grayling qualifies for protection under almost any ESA standard."
.. Now, it's possible that the USFWS is going to reconsider its decision. Mike Bias, Executive Director of The Big Hole River Foundation has sent a letter in support of a reversal to Mark Wilson and Doug Petersen - USFWS, Helena - in support of the Grayling. The letter is annotated with an additional letter of support from the leading Grayling experts from around the world. The documentation in both letters about the genetic and behavioral differences between the Fluvial and Lacustrine forms is significant, and should be familiar to all fans of the Fluvial Grayling.
.. We now know about the Yellowstone fish, and this makes the Big Hole fish all that more important. The whole sordid tale of the politics of this fish is retold in a succinct form by Williams and is worthy of review.
.. There are several organizations that are working to save the Fluvial Grayling of the Big Hole River. Each has web pages and sections on efforts and issues associated with this fight.
--- The Big Hole River Foundation,
--- Arctic Grayling Recovery Program,
--- The Nature Conservancy
--- Montana River Action
Try Google for an indication:
--> Web = about 23,000 entries, (vs. about 22,800,000 for trout,)
--> Images = about 286 entries, (vs. about 1,900,000 for trout,)
--> News = one, (vs. about 4,710 for trout,)
--> Maps = 7, (vs. about 10,200 for trout,)
--> Video = one very well done entry presented below for your edification. (vs. about 6,569 for trout.)
"Jeremy Bentham, the Pieta, and a Precious Few Grayling" by David Quammen
"Entrepreneurs Save Native Fish" by Jerry Johnson
"Arctic Grayling Will They Be Delisted?"
"Reintroducing Fluvial Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) To The Upper Ruby River, MT. A Progress Report"(PDF)
Montana's Fish Species Of Special Concern - Fluvial Arctic Grayling