Arctic charr

Salvelinus alpinus

This is a small member of the salmon family with dark green/blue upper parts and light speckled flanks.

The rich orange coloured underbelly, pectoral and anal fins and half of the tail distinguish the males. Females have lighter blue under parts.

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Discover more about the Arctic Charr

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When to see

These fish are more visible at the spawning time in the winter between October and March. Adults spend most of their life in deep water in the dark peaty waters of lochs and are not seen.

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Where to see

This fish is found throughout Scotland in large water deep lochs. They need very clean water to survive. Arctic char living in Scotland do not migrate to sea as part of their lifecycle.

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Did you know?

It's likely that the Artic charr was the first fresh water fish to colonise Scotland after the last ice age. This fish is highly adapted to live in cold deep water and will be affected by climate change in the future as it is thought to be a relict species from the end of the last Ice Age. Arctic charr are a conservation feature in five Sites of Special Scientific Interest:

  • Loch Eck
  • Insh Marshes
  • Loch Builg
  • Loch of Girlsta
  • Loch Doon
Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

These fish are more visible at the spawning time in the winter between October and March. Adults spend most of their life in deep water in the dark peaty waters of lochs and are not seen.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

This fish is found throughout Scotland in large water deep lochs. They need very clean water to survive. Arctic char living in Scotland do not migrate to sea as part of their lifecycle.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

It's likely that the Artic charr was the first fresh water fish to colonise Scotland after the last ice age. This fish is highly adapted to live in cold deep water and will be affected by climate change in the future as it is thought to be a relict species from the end of the last Ice Age. Arctic charr are a conservation feature in five Sites of Special Scientific Interest:

  • Loch Eck
  • Insh Marshes
  • Loch Builg
  • Loch of Girlsta
  • Loch Doon
Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

These fish are more visible at the spawning time in the winter between October and March. Adults spend most of their life in deep water in the dark peaty waters of lochs and are not seen.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

This fish is found throughout Scotland in large water deep lochs. They need very clean water to survive. Arctic char living in Scotland do not migrate to sea as part of their lifecycle.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

It's likely that the Artic charr was the first fresh water fish to colonise Scotland after the last ice age. This fish is highly adapted to live in cold deep water and will be affected by climate change in the future as it is thought to be a relict species from the end of the last Ice Age. Arctic charr are a conservation feature in five Sites of Special Scientific Interest:

  • Loch Eck
  • Insh Marshes
  • Loch Builg
  • Loch of Girlsta
  • Loch Doon