Thymallus arcticus - (Pallas, 1776)
Arctic Grayling
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Thymallus arcticus (Pallas, 1776) (TSN 162016)
French Common Names: ombre arctique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105890
Element Code: AFCHA07010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Salmon and Trouts
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Salmoniformes Salmonidae Thymallus
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Thymallus arcticus
Taxonomic Comments: Once there were four isolated stocks in North America, considered separate species: T. signifer, T. montanus, T. tricolor, and T. ontariensis. T. signifer now is considered synonymous with T. arcticus, and others as subspecies (Lee et al. 1980). Genus includes four species: one in Europe, two in Mongolia, and probably one widespread cross Asia and North America (Nelson 1984).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Jun2015
Global Status Last Changed: 12Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species is secure in its large Holarctic range. See additional information for the Upper Missouri River Fluvial Population.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (02Jun2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (S5), Arizona (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Michigan (SX), Montana (S1), Nevada (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), Utah (SNA), Washington (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (S3S4), British Columbia (S4), Manitoba (S4), Northwest Territories (S3), Nunavut (S3), Ontario (SNA), Saskatchewan (S5), Yukon Territory (S5)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (High)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
American Fisheries Society Status: Extinct (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Holarctic. Northern Eurasia and North America. North America: widespread in Arctic drainages from Hudson Bay west to Alaska, and in Arctic and Pacific drainages south to central Alberta and British Columbia; upper Missouri River drainage, Montana. Formerly in rivers flowing into lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior, northern Michigan (now extirpated). Introduced widely in western North America south to California, Arizona, and Nevada; locally common (Page and Burr 1991, Lee et al. 1980).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but relatively large.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.

Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable or slowly declining.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Holarctic. Northern Eurasia and North America. North America: widespread in Arctic drainages from Hudson Bay west to Alaska, and in Arctic and Pacific drainages south to central Alberta and British Columbia; upper Missouri River drainage, Montana. Formerly in rivers flowing into lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior, northern Michigan (now extirpated). Introduced widely in western North America south to California, Arizona, and Nevada; locally common (Page and Burr 1991, Lee et al. 1980).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AZexotic, COexotic, IDexotic, MIextirpated, MT, NMexotic, NVexotic, UTexotic, WAexotic, WYexotic
Canada AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, ONexotic, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MT Beaverhead (30001), Big Horn (30003), Broadwater (30007), Carbon (30009), Cascade (30013), Dawson (30021), Deer Lodge (30023), Flathead (30029), Gallatin (30031), Glacier (30035), Granite (30039), Jefferson (30043), Judith Basin (30045), Lake (30047), Lewis and Clark (30049), Madison (30057), Missoula (30063), Park (30067), Powell (30077), Sanders (30089), Silver Bow (30093), Stillwater (30095), Sweet Grass (30097), Teton (30099)
WY Park (56029), Teton (56039)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Keweenaw Peninsula (04020103), Manistee (04060103)
09 Belly (09040002)+
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Beaverhead (10020002)+, Ruby (10020003)+, Big Hole (10020004)+, Jefferson (10020005)+, Boulder (10020006)*, Madison (10020007)+, Gallatin (10020008)+, Upper Missouri (10030101)+, Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)*, Smith (10030103)+, Sun (10030104)+, Belt (10030105)*, Two Medicine (10030201)*, Marias (10030203)*, Teton (10030205)+, Judith (10040103)+, Milk Headwaters (10050001)*, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)*, Upper Yellowstone (10070002)+, Stillwater (10070005)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+, Lower Bighorn (10080015)+, Lower Yellowstone (10100004)+
17 Upper Clark Fork (17010201)+, Flint-Rock (17010202)+, Blackfoot (17010203)+, Middle Clark Fork (17010204)+, North Fork Flathead (17010206)+, Flathead Lake (17010208)+, South Fork Flathead (17010209)+, Stillwater (17010210)+, Swan (17010211)+, Lower Flathead (17010212)+, Lower Clark Fork (17010213)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Spawns usually in early spring (May-June). Male establishes a territory. Normally lays 400-12,500 eggs (Moyle 1976), which hatch in 11-21 days. Sexually mature in 3-4 years. Lifespan usually less than 6 years but up to 10 years (Brown 1971).
Ecology Comments: Predators probably include other fishes and predatory birds (osprey, gulls, eagles) and mammals (mink, otter).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates up streams in early spring to spawn. Migrates downstream in fall.
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water
Habitat Comments: Open water of clear, cold (47-52 F) medium to large rivers and lakes. Adults move to pools after spawning, spend winter in deep water. Spawning takes place in creeks with gravel-bottomed riffles. Spawning in lakes is rare. Does not construct a redd. Lake populations can spawn in either inlet or outlet streams. At Deer Lake, Montana, most young apparently entered the lake from the outlet stream spawning area during the 6-7-month period of annual ice cover; a small proportion of the fry were lost over a downstream waterfall (Deleray and Kaya 1992). In contrast, young in populations that spawn in inlet streams generally enter lakes much sooner. The extended period of stream residence may be related to avoidance of predation by large conspecifics in Deer Lake (Deleray and Kaya 1992).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore, Piscivore
Food Comments: Oportunistic. Fry feed mainly on zooplankton. Adults feed mainly on terrestrial and aquatic insects (larvae, pupae and adults); also crustaceans, snails, fish eggs, and small fish.
Length: 38 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Nonanadromous Salmonids

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Spawning Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Mapping Guidance: Conceptually, the occurrence includes the entire area used by the population, including spawning, rearing, migration, and wintering areas. Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 10 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied represent different occurrences. However, it is important to evaluate migrations and seasonal changes in habitat (see separation justification) to ensure that spawning areas and nonspawning areas for a single population are not artificially segregated as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance is 10 stream-km for both suitable and unsuitable habitat. However, if it is known that the same population occupies sites separated by more than 10 km (e.g., this may be common for migratory populations), those sites should be included within the same occurrence. In lakes, occurrences include all suitable habitat that is presumed to be occupied (based on expert judgment), even if documented collection/observation points are more than 10 km apart. Separate sub-occurrences or source features may usefully document locations of critical spawning areas within a lake.

Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary; little is known about juvenile dispersal (e.g., how far fishes may move between between their embryonic developmental habitat and eventual spawning site). "Restricted movement is the norm in populations of stream salmonids during nonmigratory periods," but there is considerable variation in movements within and among species (Rodriguez 2002).

Migrations can be extensive. For example, in the Kennebecasis River, New Brunswick, brook trout moved upstream 65-100 km in spring after ice loss; summer movements were minimal; movements to spawning areas in fall were less than 10 km, then the fish moved back downstream to wintering areas in the lower to middle reaches of the river (Curry et al. 2002).

Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

Date: 11Mar2003
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 30Jan1997
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Atton, F.M. and J.J. Merkowsky. 1983. Atlas of Saskatchewan Fish. Saskatchewan Department of Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch Technical Report 83-2. 281pp.

  • Brown, C. J. D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Big Sky Books, the Endowment and Research Foundation, Montana State University, Bozeman. MT. 207 pp.

  • Deleray, M. A., and C. M. Kaya. 1992. Lakeward and downstream movements of age-0 arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) originating between a lake and a waterfall. Great Basin Naturalist 52:344-351.

  • Fisheries Branch. 1991. Fish Species Distributions in Saskatchewan. Report 91-7. Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch. Regina. 102pp.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Morrow, J.E. 1980. The freshwater fishes of Alaska. Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, Anchorage, AK. 248 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 405 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. Revised and expanded. University of California Press, Berkeley. xv + 502 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S. 1984. Fishes of the world. Second edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York. xv + 523 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Rodriguez, M. A. 2002. Restricted movement in stream fish: the paradigm is complete, not lost. Ecology 83(1):1-13.

  • Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 pp.

  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman. 1979. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Bull. 84. 966pp.

  • Sigler, W. F., and R. R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah State Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, Utah, 203 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2014. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment of Arctic Grayling as an Endangered or Threatened Species; Proposed Rule. Federal Register 79(161):49384-49422.

  • Wydoski, R. S., and R. R. Whitney. 1979. Inland fishes of Washington. The University of Washington Press, Seattle. 220 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Holton, G. D., and H. E. Johnson. 1996. A field guide to Montana fishes. 2nd edition. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State Parks and wildlife Interpretive Association, Helena, Montana. 104 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • NatureServe. No Date. Full species reconciliation of subspecies-by-watershed source data for freshwater fish, mussel and crayfish for use in the watershed distribution databases.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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