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Arctic Grayling


Fish in a Changing World

— Before Alaska’s upper Kuparuk River freezes solid, Arctic grayling forge upstream to the deep waters of their winter haven: Green Cabin Lake. These fish live in an extreme environment and face extreme environmental changes. Their population relies on interconnected habitats as it helps sustain a diverse and productive ecosystem. How do Arctic grayling respond to habitat fragmentation caused by climate change and human interference? What steps can scientists outline to help manage the population?

Researchers like Jeff Adams, fishery biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Heidi Golden, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Connecticut, employ strategies as diverse as radio transmitters, genetic sampling and even collecting fish ear bones to learn more about the Arctic grayling.

Grayling research was funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-STAR Fellowship), the National Science Foundation, the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research Network, and the University of Connecticut. Logistic and technical support provided by the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Toolik Field Station.

Arctic grayling head closeup
Arctic grayling / Image Heidi Golden

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