Scientific name: Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Irish name: Gualán
Irish record angling fish: not recorded
Native species: Yes
Body shape is trout-like fish, coloration variable according to habitat, sex and breeding conditions; olive or blue-grey above, becoming lighter on the sides; some fish, especially breeding males, become red or orange on the belly and have the lower fins pink or red, with cream or white edges; char have pale spots on a dark ground, whereas trout and salmon have dark spots on a light ground; in Irish waters, char grow to about 0.7kg but are often much smaller; several types of Irish char have been recognised4.
Environment and Habitat
Lake residents in Ireland (anadromous in other parts of the world); occurs in deep, cold lakes; slow-growing fish; spawns in lakes in winter or early Spring2;
Found in selected unpolluted Irish upland lakes only;
Economic value in Ireland
Minor commercial value; farmed in Ireland;
Red list status
Irish legislation status
1987 Irish Fisheries Amendment Act (No.2) – expanded the term ‘salmonid’ to include Arctic char and rainbow trout and so protects char spawning grounds, juvenile char and designates a closed season.
EU legislation status