State will discontinue filling grayling in Alaska lakes

Funding cuts have forced Alaska hatcheries to stop raising Arctic grayling.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the manager of Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery in Fairbanks, Gary George, says the state chose to cut grayling because the small, native fish are disproportionately expensive to raise.

The canceled grayling program makes up 11 percent of the fish that the Fairbanks hatchery planned to stock next year. The decision also removes grayling production at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage.

Stocking will continue at near-planned levels for rainbow trout, salmon and arctic char.

George says it’ll be easy to restore production at the hatchery if funding for stocked grayling were to be restored in the future.