The Arctic grayling is native to Siberia and North America as far south as Montana, introduced into Arizona in 1940. The dorsal fin is oversized, dark-gray, blotched with pale spots, with cross-rows of deep blue spots and edged with red or orange. The dorsal fin has 17 to 25 rays. The tail fin is forked. The body has scattered black spots on silver-gray sides that sometimes have a pinkish hue. The scales on the grayling are much larger than the scales on trout. Length: 8 to 14 inches. Weight: 6 ounces to over 1 pound.
Location and Habitat
Grayling are found in Lee Valley Reservoir and only a few small high mountain lakes in the White Mountains. This fish is not being cultured by the Department at this time, but it is occasionally brought in from out of state hatcheries. They spend most of the year in the lake then "run" upstream to spawn in the spring.
Spawning by grayling is similar to that of other salmonids. It is preceded by upstream runs from lakes with males establishing territories in small streams from February to March. Spawning success in Arizona is poor; consequently supplemental stockings of grayling are necessary.
Their main diet is the adult and larvae of aquatic insects and other invertebrates.
Grayling are caught on both wet and dry flies. A Royal Coachman, small midge or a black or brown Woolly worm often works very well.
The meat is white, flaky and good tasting, although slightly oily.