What Is Arctic Char?
Arctic Char is a member of the Salmonid family, which includes both salmon and trout. These remarkable fish live up to 25 years, instead of dying after spawning, as salmon do. They are a native of the sub-polar lakes surrounding the Arctic circle, and can only survive in unspoiled, naturally cold water.
The species is divided into two populations.
- Lake-dwelling Arctic char are found in glacial lakes across the northern-most continents.
- A migratory form of Arctic Char feeds in the Arctic Ocean and spawns in rivers.
Arctic char, like its natural cousin the salmon, is anadromous, migrating from northern lakes to salt water in late spring, then returning in late summer to spawn. It lives up to 25 years, instead of dying after spawning, as salmon do.
The search for Arctic Char has invariably taken anglers to remote areas of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Siberia. Commercial fishing of the species has been minimal, mainly due to impracticality, but access to Arctic Char is growing due to clean, sustainable aqua farming.
What Are the Outstanding Qualities of Arctic Char?
This majestic fish, originating from the icy Arctic water, does not taste as fishy as salmon, but its meat is fattier and more moist than salmon. Though often compared to salmon or trout, Arctic Char has its own distinctive qualities:
- delicate, light pink flesh
- a mild, buttery, sweet flavor
- a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids