Although fishermen had been catching this fish in such rivers as the Manistee, Pere Marquette, and Au Sable for some years, its classification as a true grayling came only in 1864. The thrill of landing this fish drew sportsmen from the country over as railroads entered northern Michigan in the 1870's. The town of Grayling was the center for fishing trips on the Au Sable. Habitat changes following deforestation were making Michigan Grayling rare by 1900, and by about 1930 they were extinct.
While now extinct in Michigan, members of the grayling family are found in Montana, Europe, and in the Arctic. The grayling are related to the trout and salmon and are distinguished by a thyme-like odor and a long wavy dorsal fin, a superb mark of beauty. Measuring from twelve to fifteen inches, the Michigan grayling lived in cold swift streams and were a gamy fish and delicious as food.