Arctic Char Taste & Flavor Profile

Arctic Char Flavor Scale

Arctic Char have a rich taste with a flavor profile somewhere between trout and salmon with a fat content close to that of sockeye salmon. The flesh ranges in color from light pink to deep red with moderately firm but fine flakes. The skin is is thin and delicate, is easy to crisp-up and is edible. I usually cook it to 120° F, about medium-rare (note that the Health Dept. recommends 135° for fish). Char is also served as sushi, but because it is of the Salmonidae family it must be frozen first to a temperature of -4° F for 24 hours to kill any possible parasite larvae.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Char, Alpine Trout, Sea Trout, Alpine Char, Iwana (sushi)

Typical Wholesale Products

Whole, Dressed, Fillets

Description (Salvelinus alpinus alpinus)

Arctic Char is a member of the Salmonidae family which includes salmon and trout. Average commercial weight is 2-8 Lbs but can grow to 25 Lbs. Their body shape resembles salmon. They have silvery skin with flecks of pink along the sides and splashes of green & blue along their back.

Like salmon, arctic char is androgynous, migrating from lakes to saltwater to spawn. But unlike salmon, they do not die after spawning and can live to an age of over 25 years.

Arctic Char pic Arctic Char Fillets jpg

Fresh Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Farmed fresh Arctic Char is available all year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Arctic Char Butchering Yield %

Item To Skin/On Fillets To Skin/Off Fillets Notes
Whole Round 55% 50% Round is whole fish ungutted.
Whole Head/On gutted 69% 63%
Skin/On Fillets 91% If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


Range & Habitat

Range & habitat
AquaMaps Data sources: GBIF

Wild Arctic Char are found in the northern arctic waters of North America, Europe and northeastern Russia. They are found in marine and fresh water, and dwell at a depth of 90 – 210 feet deep. Some are migratory, while others live in fresh water their entire lives.

Arctic Char are unique in that they are the only fresh water fish to inhabit the coldest, most northern lakes, as well as alpine lakes at the the highest altitude.

Recipe Video for Arctic Char


Arctic Char Sustainability Info

Name Alternate Names Catch Method Catch
Arctic Char Char, Alpine Trout, Sea Trout, Alpine Char, Iwana Farmed Canada, Iceland, Norway, US no
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended Updated
Jan 2013

Most arctic char are farmed in some type of closed land-based aquaculture system such as tanks or raceways. They are well managed with low impact upon the local habitat and low risk of pollution. Wild fish are also available, but in very limited supply. Read more.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 264
* Protein grams 34.6
* Fat grams 13.9
* Saturated fat grams 2.9
* Sodium milligrams 120
* Cholesterol milligrams 46.3
* Omega-3 grams 2.7


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Scott Hayden

You say the trout are androgynous.
I think you meant anadromous.

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