Stocking grayling in Big Hole tributaries: Utility or futility?

The imperiled status of the river-dwelling population of Arctic grayling in Montana continues to roil the waters of public debate about the fate of the species’ survivors in the Big Hole River.

The latest wrangle focuses on the utility or futility of stocking grayling in a Big Hole watershed creek and tributaries during a time of low flows and warm water.

This fall, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks released Arctic grayling fingerlings into a section of French Creek previously treated to remove non-native fish. The fingerlings stocked a portion of the creek above a fish barrier designed to keep non-native fish from swimming upstream.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is stocking French Creek with Arctic grayling fingerlings. French Creek flows into Deep Creek, which is a tributary of the Big Hole River. The river is home to the last population of fluvial Arctic grayling in the Lower 48. 

Fish, Wildlife and Parks

French Creek flows into Deep Creek, which is a tributary of the Big Hole — the river that hosts the last population in the Lower 48 of

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