Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinu)

The charr has a blue-green back, gray blue or greenish sides with small red or orange spots and a glowing red belly. The dorsal and caudal fins are bluish, whilst the others are red. The first rays of the paired fins and the anal fin are white.

This member of the salmon family, is of medium size and in the north migrates to sp in freshwater. However, many mountain lake; including some in the British Isles) are inhabit by non-migratory freshwater forms. Breeding tees place either during the late autumn or early sling and the young fish, after hatching, stay in freshwater for three to four years. They migrate to the sea during winter, often swimming under the ice of frozen rivers. Their migration journey can extend into June. During its freshwater existence the charr lives on small fish and insect larvae, but also jumps out of the water to catch flying insects. In the sea it feeds on fish and has a special lilting for young herring. It has matured sexually b, the time it is six or seven years old.

It inhabits the Arctic seas of Europe, Asia aid North America, and the coastal waters of Iceland Spitsbergen and the northern parts of Norway. However, large numbers of local varieties live in the lakes of England, Ireland and Scotland, in Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian lakes, as well as in the Alps. For example in Lake Constance and other lakes in the Alps a small form with strikingly large eyes can be found in deep waters. The charr is of considerable economic value in the Arctic waters, whilst the lake forms are popular angling fish.

Maximum size and weight:

60 cm, 2.5 kg. Identifying characteristics: Blue-green back, gray-blue or greenish sides with small red or orange spots, belly glowing red. First rays of pectoral, pelvic and anal fins white.

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