Arctic Char vs. Salmon: Looks, Taste, and Everything Else!

Studying Time: 4 minutes

Salmon and Char look fairly related on paper. They’re each massive, predatory salmonids. They each battle arduous and style nice. In truth, they’re just about the identical, proper? Incorrect. There are many variations between the 2 species. With that in thoughts, right here’s a breakdown of Arctic Char vs. Salmon, each as fish and as meals.

Arctic Char vs. Salmon as Fish

Chinook are the most important, however there are many Salmons on the market!

Let’s make one thing clear proper off the bat: There are plenty of kinds of Salmon. It’s unattainable to actually discuss “Salmon” as a single fish, so we’ll concentrate on how they’re totally different to Arctic Char as an alternative. This primarily comes all the way down to the place they reside and what they appear like.


Char and Salmon share a lot of the identical habitat, migrating between freshwater and saltwater within the northern reaches of North America, Russia, and Europe. The principle distinction is that Arctic Char are, effectively, Arctic. They reside a lot additional north, thriving effectively into the Arctic Circle the place most Salmon species couldn’t survive.

The most effective locations to fish for Salmon are Alaska, the west coast of Canada, and the Nice Lakes. All these locations are residence to Pacific Salmon species like Chinook. Sadly, Atlantic Salmon are endangered within the wild, though yow will discover them in Quebec and Scandinavia. 

Wish to goal Char? You’ll be able to just about go wherever that’s chilly sufficient. Northern Canada, Alaska, Norway, Sweden, and Russia are all nice.


These are all Arctic Char, so how are you supposed to acknowledge them?

Arctic Char are severely stunning fish. Once they’re within the sea, they’ve a brilliant silvery hue that lights up within the solar and shines by means of the water. As they migrate upstream to spawn, their backs darken and their bellies flip deep purple or brilliant orange. 

The issue is that the identical could be mentioned of Salmon. They’re silver a lot of the yr and morph into quite a lot of bizarre monsters once they spawn. So, how do you inform them aside?

The principle methods to determine a Char are its spots and stripes. All Char species have mild spots on their sides (often pink or white, however generally brilliant purple once they’re spawning). Salmon, then again, could have darkish spots if they’ve any in any respect. One other useless giveaway is that Char have a creamy white edging on their fins, which Salmon don’t.

Arctic Char vs. Salmon as Meals

Anglers love speaking about fish by way of appears, habitat, and combating spirit. For most individuals, although, the most important query is, “Are they good to eat?” The reply is a powerful “Sure” for each fish, however they do style totally different. 


Arctic Char is a scrumptious, gentle fish that sits someplace between Trout and Salmon, leaning towards Trout. It’s fairly fatty, which makes it simple to cook dinner, because it gained’t go dry or powerful until you actually overdo it. Char additionally has a really delicate pores and skin that crisps up fantastically.

How does it examine to Salmon? Is determined by the Salmon. If you already know your fish, Char has about the identical quantity of fats as Sockeye – greater than Atlantic Salmon, however lower than Chinook. It additionally has barely much less protein than Chinook or Atlantic Salmon. It’s nonetheless wealthy in omega-3, although, making it a well being meals in addition to a delicacy.

The true bonus with Char is that it’s low-cost. This implies that you would be able to purchase higher high quality fish for lots much less cash than premium wild-caught Salmon would price you.


That is the place Char actually shines. We’ve lined seafood sustainability in rather more element elsewhere when you’re . For now, let’s simply say that each fish are often farm-raised, however as a result of Char can reside in freshwater long-term, it’s a lot simpler and extra sustainable to farm.

Not all Salmon is farmed, thoughts you. Wild-caught Pacific Salmon arguably has even higher eco credentials. Nevertheless, it’s solely out there at sure instances of yr and is considerably dearer, so it’s not at all times an choice. In fact, essentially the most sustainable (and enjoyable) solution to eat fish is to exit and catch it your self!

Salmon and Char: Comparable, however Not the Identical

Salmon and Char are related in some ways. They’re each predatory cold-water fish that style nice and look downright weird once they’re about to mate. Salmon have stolen the limelight, and most of the people have by no means heard of their northern cousins. Nevertheless, Char are effectively value making an attempt and undoubtedly value catching.

What do you favor, Salmon or Char? Have you ever caught both of them earlier than? Drop us your tales, questions, and recipes within the feedback under – we’d love to listen to from you!

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