Studying Arctic Grayling in Williston Reservoir

Project Year: 2018-2019

View Provincial Database Record

Arctic Grayling Photo Credit: Steve Rooke

Project Lead

Stamford Environmental


Peace Region

Project Type

Monitoring & Evaluation

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Streams Action Plan

Project ID


Williston Grayling distribution: environmental DNA study II

This project, which builds on work supported through an FWCP seed grant in 2017 – 18 (PEA-F18-F-2352), aims to identify the distribution and habitat use of Arctic Grayling in small tributaries entering directly into Williston Reservoir: streams where populations have declined most significantly due to flooding. Identifying small tributaries that continue to provide Arctic Grayling habitat is key to understanding the existing (surviving) life history variation in the watershed and will facilitate further conservation and enhancement actions. A proven methodology for rapidly identifying Arctic Grayling presence in streams is the use of the environmental DNA assay (eDNA) using water samples collected from potential habitats. The project team proposes to use the eDNA analysis technique in order to identify the distribution and habitat use of Arctic Grayling in the reservoir basin.

Update: eDNA sampling expands Arctic Grayling distribution

Arctic Grayling have been identified in five streams in the Williston Core Area thanks to environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling. In this FWCP-funded project, 44 samples were taken from 15 rivers and creeks to identify the distribution and habitat of the Arctic Grayling and promote further conversation and enhancement actions.

View more about this project on the provincial database