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HomeNewsCrawford NewsBREAKING NEWS – Arctic Grayling coming to Grayling fish hatchery

BREAKING NEWS – Arctic Grayling coming to Grayling fish hatchery

GRAYLING, MI – The Grayling Fish Hatchery announced today that it’s hosting a contingent of Arctic Grayling, courtesy of the Michigan DNR.

Grayling Fish Hatchery Treasurer Mark Rais said the DNR notified the group this morning that it intended to loan the hatchery an undisclosed amount of brood stock by the second week of June. Amount of fish have not been disclosed.

The fish will fill one of the raceways that are currently occupied in part by more than 2,000 Rainbow Trout. The fish are kept in the raceways by steel fences, where the river water flows through both ends.

“Just think of it,” Rais said. “Grayling fish, which haven’t been here for almost a hundred years, will be in the City of Grayling. For viewing, this is a fabulous tourist attraction for the area.”

Grayling fish video swimming in the river

Although the Grayling won’t be released into the wild this year, the AuSable River is considered prime habitat for a reintroduction to the region by Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative (MAGI). The Grayling was native to about 20 rivers in Northern Michigan, including the Manistee and AuSable, before being declared extinct in 1936.

According to MAGI, the initiative started as a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in 2017 when about 10,000 eggs were brought from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Oden State Fish Hatchery.

MAGI, with funding from Northern Michigan University, Consumer’s Energy and more than 40 other fishing and conservation groups, are attempting to establish self-sustaining populations of Grayling throughout Michigan.


According to graylingfishhatchery.org, the hatchery itself has been in existence for over 100 years. It was established in 1919 by Rasmus Hanson and several fellow sportsmen, including Henry and Edsel Ford. Their intent was to reintroduce Grayling to local waters.

Visit the Rainbow trout in our raceways, provided by the Michigan DNR, look for our wild trout populations who are always ready for a handout of fish food, visit our marsh raceway which houses many turtles and frogs, and 16 and under are welcome to fish in the Children’s Fishing Pond for free. Just bring your own equipment and bait and practice catch and release only.

Unfortunately, many of the fish did not survive, and production was switched to raising Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout, the Au Sable varieties we know and love today. The hatchery operated under private ownership until the state of Michigan bought the facility in 1926. Since then, the hatchery has changed ownership several times, passing from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to commercial fish producers, and finally to Grayling Hatchery Incorporated in 2017.

Its mission is to establish the hatchery as a hub of learning and discovery–a place where all can come to experience the wonders and beauty of the Au Sable River.

Hanging out with the turtles living in the turtle sanctuary. Courtesy of Graylingfishhatchery.org.

Board members of the Grayling Hatchery include: Josh Greenberg – president; Debbie Boyd – vice-president; Joyce Haxton – secretary; and Rais. The board also employs summer workers Mitch Salhaney (Hatchery Manager) and Jacob Ziegler (Hatchery Technician), who manage day-to-day operations and provide tours to the public.

The hatchery is open to the public Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, Friday-Sunday, and holiday Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the hatchery is free, donations are welcome.

The hatchery is located at 4890 West North Down River Road #867 in Grayling.

For more information on the hatchery visit graylingfishhatchery.org.

Editor’s note: Watch UpNorthVoice.com for updates on this exciting announcement.

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