HELENA, Mont. -

Federal wildlife officials say the Arctic grayling does not need special protections under the Endangered Species Act.
    
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it reached that conclusion after conservation efforts by private landowners and federal and state wildlife agencies to protect the fish.
    
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Jeff Hagener says the conservation of grayling in Montana is arguably one of the most significant conservation success stories in the nation.
    
He says habitat quality, population trends and genetic diversity are now stable for most grayling populations in the state.
    
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 a colorful, sail-like dorsal fin.