Arctic grayling in Montana up for protections

BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal wildlife officials say they will review the status of Arctic grayling in Montana to decide if the fish species should receive greater protection on the upper Missouri River.

Monday’s announcement stems from a legal settlement with wildlife advocates who sued to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take action on hundreds of species.

A similar review in 2010 found that grayling warranted protections, but no action was taken because officials said other species took priority.

The Missouri River system upstream of Great Falls holds the only North American Arctic grayling population outside Canada and Alaska. The fish are related to trout and known for their colorful, sail-like dorsal fin.

An initial decision on whether to grant threatened or endangered status is due by Sept. 30, 2014.

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