Arctic Grayling Locations

Arctic Grayling map 512w

Blue dots show spawning, rearing, and migration areas.


Arctic grayling have adapted to the rigors of the climatic and physical environment of the arctic. For almost nine months of the year, grayling are confined to relatively small reaches of stream and river channels for overwintering. The available overwintering habitat is critical to their survival and is considered to be the major limiting factor for populations of arctic fishes. After break-up, which begins in late May or early June, Arctic grayling expand their distribution to include streams and rivers that were previously frozen. Glacial rivers are used as migration corridors to tundra streams where grayling spawn and rear. The fish appear to return and spawn in the same stream in which they were born. Young of the year fish emerge from the gravel in late June and early July. In August and September, Arctic grayling return to overwintering areas in river channels associated with year round springs and deep pools. Grayling mature between the age of six and nine years.

References

Daum, D., P. Rost, and M.W. Smith. 1984. Fisheries studies on the north slope of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1983. Pages 464-522 in G.W. Garner and P.E. Reynolds, editors. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain resource assessment: 1983 update report, baseline study of the fish, wildlife, and their habitats. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.

West, R.L., M.W. Smith, W.E. Barber, J.B. Reynolds, and H. Hop. 1992. Autumn migration and overwintering of Arctic grayling in coastal streams of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 121:709-715.

Wiswar, D.W. 1992. Summer distribution of arctic fishes in the Okpilak, Akutoktak, Katakturuk, and Jago rivers, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 1990. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Fisheries Technical Report Number 17, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Wiswar, D.W. 1994. Summer Distribution of Arctic Fishes in the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 1991 with emphasis on selected lakes, tundra streams, and the Sadlerochit River drainage. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Fisheries Technical Report Number 27, Fairbanks, Alaska.