Arctic Char vs Salmon- Your Ultimate Guide!

Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by Fabiola L.

You may have heard that the arctic char fish is similar to a salmon. But, what exactly are the differences between Arctic Char Vs. salmon? Read this ultimate guide to find out everything you need to know about arctic char vs. salmon.

The arctic char and salmon both come from the family of Salmonidae. However, they are different species. Since they come from the same family, they do share many similar characteristics. 

Understanding the details of each species will help you make your selection for aquaponics. Keep in mind, there are tons of species that fall under the Salmonidae family. In fact, there are multiple kinds of salmon in general!  

Remember to always be mindful about which species you are working with before you raise them. This will help make sure you can create the perfect conditions for your fish.

Continue reading now to learn all you need to know about Arctic Char vs. Salmon and how to choose which one is right for you.

Getting to know the Arctic Char

Salmon is a fish that we see in stores everywhere. However, have you heard of the arctic char? Let’s find out more information about this beautiful fish now.

The Arctic Char is a cold water species. They spend their time migrating from freshwater bodies to saltwater. Since they like a cold water temperature, you can find them in places like Northern Europe, Russia, and North America near Canada.  

It is a remarkably beautiful-looking fish. Depending on if they are in saltwater or freshwater, their color changes.

In the sea, they have a bright silver look that makes them easy to spot through the water as they migrate their color changes. Around spawning time, the top of their bodies turn dark, and their bellies become a reddish-orange.  

At this point, their light orange spots become more visible and vibrant. These spots are one of the most important things to pay attention to when trying to determine the difference between Arctic Char vs. Salmon.  

Arctic Char has much lighter spots than the salmon’s darker spots. In fact, sometimes salmon will not have any spots at all! 

The Arctic Char is a very resilient fish when it comes to cold temperatures.  This is why it is the only fish found in the far north waters of the Canadian Arctic. 

According to the University of Waterloo Canada, The Arctic Char has been a sacred food source for the indigenous Kugluktuk tribe located in Nunavut, Canada. Unfortunately, due to the climate crisis, arctic char has been steadily declining over the last 100 years. 

Now that we have more details on the arctic char, let’s have a closer look at salmon!

All about the Salmon Fish

As mentioned before, salmon refers to many kinds of ray-finned fish that reside in cold waters. Their defining features are their silver body, small head, small eyes, and gaping mouth. Just like the arctic fish, their features change during the spawning season.

When they are in freshwater, you can see 10-11 stripes running across their body, which also contains brighter red spots. Please note, this is not necessarily true for all salmon. Variations occur between different salmon species.

The Salmon is also an anadromous fish, meaning that they migrate every year from saltwater to freshwater.  

Salmon are strong predators in nature, feeding on anything that is smaller than them. They can reach up to 3 feet long and weigh around 10 pounds.  

When salmons are young, they feed on tinier fish and crustaceans. As they grow, their diet expands into eating larger fish.  

In fact, salmon are considered quite high on the food change. Not many other fish dare to eat them. This is because they are very aggressive and persistent predators.

The only other fish that can consume salmon are sharks, tuna, and swordfish.  

Unfortunately, just like the arctic fish, much of the salmon’s natural habitat has been destroyed by humans. So, they are also under threat of the climate crisis.

Since salmon became such a commonly consumed food by humans, many people have been farming it. This is why it is readily available in most grocery stores around the United States.

arctic char nutrition vs salmon

Arctic Char nutrition vs. Salmon and more differences

Even though salmon is the more popular choice for dinner plates, the Arctic Char has a lot of benefits. For one, they are typically more affordable than salmon. 

This is most likely because not as many people choose to eat arctic char so it can be sold at a lower price.

In terms of nutrition, the two are relatively similar. They are both healthy types of protein and a much better alternative to animal meats. 

However, Salmon tends to have slightly more omega threes than Arctic Char. Arctic char also contains a little bit less protein than Atlantic salmon.  

Another benefit of Arctic Char is sustainability. Arctic Char can live longer in freshwater, so this makes it easier to farm than salmon.   

In terms of the taste, they both are delicious. The Arctic Char has a more mild taste, similar to a trout. Whereas the salmon has a quite fishy taste.  

Regardless, they both taste great on the grill and are healthy for you!  

If you want to try something new, why not go with the arctic char. After reading this article, you can see there aren’t huge differences between the arctic char vs. salmon.

The best way to think about it is that the two are like cousins. If you want to raise them in your aquaponics system, be sure to pay attention to the water temperature. They will only survive in the cold.  

You will have to be sure to pair these fish varieties with cold-loving crops like kale, broccoli, or asparagus. Also, pay attention to the food sources.  

If you raise salmon or arctic char, you will need to provide them with other smaller fish for food. This could end up being expensive. It might be better to stick to eating these wonderful fish rather than raising them! 

Feel free to comment and ask questions below.