Arctic Grayling: Historic Distribution and Reintroduction in Michigan

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    Nicole M. Watson’s presentation will focus on the history of Grayling in Michigan, current Grayling research, and potential management implications of the preliminary findings. 

    Nicole’s Ph.D. research examines early-life history of Arctic Grayling, and their interactions with young Brook and Brown trout. The overarching goal of her research is to clarify uncertainties to successful Grayling reintroduction to Michigan streams. It is a multifaceted study including the following: predation of Grayling fry by resident, age-1 Brook and Brown trout; competition between age-0 Grayling, Brook, and Brown trout; Grayling imprinting to home waters at early life stages; water choice; alarm cues; aspects of physiological development; predator avoidance and predator cue recognition by juvenile Grayling. Her research takes her to Alaska each spring to transport Grayling eggs back to the lab at Michigan State University. She spends each summer and fall running trials back in the lab, with the exception of 2020 (and finding time to fly fish and bird hunt in Northern Michigan).

    When not at Michigan State University or home downstate, Nicole can typically be found at her Northern Michigan home base, The Hideout. She enjoys fishing for Brook trout in creeks and small rivers in Michigan and for Arctic Grayling in the interior of Alaska. She is passionate about native wild salmonids and has been known to hike mountains seeking them out if needed.

    This webinar is p
    resented by Nicole M. Watson, Ph.D. student, Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Fisheries Ecology and Management with a dual degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior.