Arctic char are similar to salmon but are known for their smaller scales and some white fringes on the belly and pectoral fins. It is also generally smaller; 50-90 cm in length and up to 10-12 kg.
Arctic char come in many colours. In the sea, it is silvery with a dark, bluish back, white spots and light belly. During the spawning season, the underside becomes reddish or golden, and the male’s jaws become hook-shaped. During its stay in freshwater, the upper side is a dark blue to greenish and brown, while the belly stays golden.
In Greenland, Arctic char are often called salmon, while “real” salmon are called scale salmon with reference to their markedly larger scales.
Like all salmonids, Arctic char is anadromous, meaning it lives in saltwater and spawns in freshwater. They swim up rivers in July-Sept, which is the peak season for char fishing. The fish spawn in August to October, after which winter is spent in lakes and rivers until the char return to sea in the spring. For young fish, this happens only when they are 4-6-years-old. Some live their entire lives in freshwater. Char mainly live on smaller fish, fry, snails and crustaceans.