Salvelinus alpinus

Current British record: 9lb 8oz (1995) W Fairbairn, Loch Arkaig, Inverness Scotland


The Arctic Charr is closely related to the Atlantic Salmon and the Brown Trout. The colour of these fish varies a great deal, wild sea run Charr are usually a deep blue colour where as farmed Charr have a red tinge to their skin and cream coloured spots. This species is not commonly caught in the wild, spending a lot of its time in Scotland, your best bet of a catch is in a farmed venue.


This species does not grow huge like others, the best natural caught Charr came in at 9lb 8oz in Scotland in 1995. Stats show that the average weight of a farmed Charr is anything between 2 - 5 pounds in weight. The Sea run fish are known to go between 5 - 9 pounds in weight but these sizes are not common.


The average size of a wild adult Charr is no greater than 35cm from tip to tail.


Arctic char fish have a long life span. In some exceptional cases they might even live up to 30 years of age. An average Arctic char fish usually lives for an impressive 20 to 24 years.


As its name suggests, the Arctic Charr prefers cold northern conditions, and it is therefore no surprise to find that its strongholds in Scotland are in the Highland lochs. More than 200 separate populations exist. Charr prefer deep dark waters to live, The Charr can be a freshwater and sea bearing fish living in lake or rivers. In Scotland however all the Charr population live in lochs.


Most of the time, Arctic Charr populate in large numbers within deep water, forming dense shoals. Despite their size these are powerful fish who will do anything to escape a catch.


Arctic Charr will feed very early in life on plankton and organic matter at the bottom of their environment. As they grow their diet will change to small fish and other small aquatic creatures. On the hunt? Both Flies and spoons are popular methods of catching Charr. Ask within the forums for tips and tricks as we have many game angling members.


It is thought that a Charr will reach sexual maturity between the ages of 6 to 9 years.


Spawning will usually take place in autumn and unlike salmon and trout, Charr will usually spawn along gravels along loch shorelines and may occasionally spawn in in-flowing streams. If this happens the spring hatchlings will soon leave the stream area at size of 6 inches and will continue their life elsewhere. Females will lay around 3000 eggs and the males will liberate around 500 of them on average every two years.


All information is from a variety of sources, if you think we have missed something? Email with your update.

See you on the bank.

The Fishing UK Team!

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