Arctic Grayling

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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Arctic Grayling
Arctic Grayling

Thymallus arcticus or Grayling, American Grayling, Bluefish, Back's Grayling, Sailfin Arctic Grayling, Arctic Trout, Tittimeg, Poison Bleu

DESCRIPTION - This species has an average length of 12-15 inches and weighs in at 1-3 pounds. A strikingly coloured fish, the back is purple to blue-black or blue-grey with sides of a pinkish iridescence having a number of V-shaped or diamond shaped spots. The head is olive-green with a mauve iridescence. During spawning the colors darken and the male becomes more brilliant than the female.

DISTRIBUTION - The Arctic grayling occurs in northern B.C. from the Peace and Stikine rivers north and in the south in the flathead river. The general habitat is the clear waters of large, cold rivers, rocky creeks and lakes.

BIOLOGY - Grayling begin their spawn during the time that the ice is first breaking up in smaller streams. No actual nest is prepared and the female lays 4000-7000 eggs. The maximum age is 11-12 years. Food consists of a very broad range of invertebrates.

RELATION TO MAN - This fish has been taken by Eskimos and Indians as food for their dogs and, less often, for themselves. They are an attractive sport fish due to their tendency to leap when hooked. Fly fishermen fly into northern Canada to catch this beautiful fish.

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Arctic Grayling