Arctic Char (Salvelinus alpinus) – Profile, Description

arctic char
(Last Updated On: April 13, 2021)

The Arctic char or Arctic charr, scientific name Salvelinus alpinus is a cold-water fish within the family Salmonidae, native to alpine lakes and arctic and subarctic coastal waters.

Arctic char Profile

Its distribution is circumpolar. It spawns in recent water and populations could be lacustrine, riverine, or anadromous, the place they return from the ocean to their recent water beginning rivers to spawn.

No different freshwater fish is discovered as far north; it’s, for example, the one fish species in Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island within the Canadian Arctic.

Arctic char is, without doubt, one of the rarest fish species in Britain and Eire, discovered primarily in deep, chilly, glacial lakes, and is in danger from acidification.

In different components of its vary, such because of the Nordic international locations, it’s rather more widespread and is fished extensively.

In Siberia, Arctic char is called goblets (Russian: голец) and it has been launched in lakes the place it generally threatens much less hardy endemic species, such because of the small-mouth char and the long-finned char in Elgygytgyn Lake.

Arctic char, Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus

The Arctic char is carefully associated with each salmon and lake trout and has many traits of each.

The fish is extremely variable in color, relying on the time of 12 months and the environmental circumstances of the lake the place it lives.

Particular person fish can weigh 20 lb (9.1 kg) or extra with record-sized fish having been taken by anglers in northern Canada, the place Arctic char is called iqaluk or tariungmiutaq in Inuktitut.

Typically, entire market-sized fish are between 2 and 5 lb (0.91 and a couple of.27 kg). The flesh color can vary from a brilliant pink to pale pink.

Arctic char Spawning

Spawning takes place from September to November over rocky shoals in lakes with heavy wave motion and in slower gravel-bottom swimming pools in rivers.

As with most salmonids, huge variations in coloration and physique form happen between sexually mature men and women.

Males develop hooked jaws referred to as kypes and tackle a superb pink color. Females stay pretty silver.

Most males arrange and guard territories and sometimes spawn with a number of females. The feminine constructs the nest or redd.

A feminine anadromous char often deposits from 3,000 to five,000 eggs.

Arctic char doesn’t die after spawning like Pacific salmon and sometimes spawn a number of instances all through their lives, sometimes each second or third 12 months.

Younger char emerge from the gravel in spring and keep within the river from 5 to 7 months or till they’re about 6–eight in (15–20 cm) in size.

Arctic char, Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus

Weight-reduction plan

The Arctic char food regimen varies with the seasons. Throughout late spring and summer, they feed on bugs discovered on the water’s floor, salmon eggs, snails, and different smaller crustaceans discovered on the lake backside, and smaller fish as much as a 3rd of the char’s measurement.

Through the autumn and winter months, the Arctic char feeds on zooplankton and freshwater shrimps which can be suspended within the lake and in addition sometimes feeds on smaller fish.


Analysis geared toward figuring out the suitability of Arctic char as a cultured species has been happening because of the late 1970s.

The Canadian authorities’ Freshwater Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada at Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre of New Brunswick pioneered the early efforts in Canada.

Arctic char are additionally farmed in Iceland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, West Virginia, and Ireland.

Arctic char has been first investigated as a result of they have been anticipated to have low optimum temperature necessities and would develop effectively on the chilly water temperatures current in quite a few areas of Canada.

They may very well be an alternate species to rainbow trout and will present producers with a special area of interest within the market.

The preliminary analysis efforts focused on figuring out the traditional wants and efficiency traits of the species.

The Freshwater Institute was chargeable for distributing small numbers of char eggs to producers in Canada; these producers in return helped decide the suitability of char in a business setting. Business char breeding shares have now been developed largely from these sources.

As food

Business Arctic char sometimes weigh between 2 and 10 lb (1 and 4.5 kg). The flesh is okay flaked and medium agency.

The color of the Arctic char is between mild pink and deep pink, and the style is like one thing between trout and salmon.

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