Arctic Charr Reproduction
Arctic charr fish are both anadromous and non anadromous. Anadromous means they have the ability to migrate upstream to spawn.
Obviously, the nonanadromous spawn and live in the same river that they were born in.
Both the salt water ones and fresh water Arctic Char attain sexual maturity at the age of 10 years, much later than other salmonidae species which can mature in as early as 4 years.
However, landlocked Arctic Charr reach maturity when they are smaller and younger than the anadromous Charr.
The male ones are polygamous in sexual nature in each season, meaning they mate more than once in a single season. The female ones are monogamous in a single reproduction season. Spawning occurs late in the year from September to late October, which is opposite to that of most freshwater fish.
The male Arctic Charr will circumambulate the females during the courtship phase by rubbing up against them slightly. As the female lays her eggs, the male fertilizes them which takes place during the daylight hours.
The spawning female seeks out a suitable bed of gravel or broken rock in which to lay her eggs, which is not difficult to do seeing that most of the Arctic region has a lot of gravel and rocky river and lake beds. This is done when the water reaches 39F/4C.
The hatchlings stay at the bottom of the gravel till they are 6-7 inches in length and then they venture out. Growth rate of the Arctic char younger ones varies a lot.
Artic Charr Behavior
The anadromous charr lives in its birth river for at least 4 years before migrating to the sea for the first time.
Contrary to other salmonids, all Arctic Charr leave the sea and spend the winter in rivers and lakes even if they’re not going to spawn.
Arctic Charr may migrate as many as 3 times before they spawn in their birth river or lake.
Landlocked charr reach maturity when they are smaller and younger. They have the same lifestyle as their anadromous brethren.
Arctic Charr Conservation Status
Arctic charr fish are in the category of the least concern in terms of their conservation status. They’re perfectly safe and are unlikely to suffer any threat in the near future.
However, the average size caught is reducing in some areas due to high amounts of fishing. While the Arctic Char grow large, it does take years for that to happen.