The population, survival, growth, reproduction and food of arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.), in four unexploited lakes in Greenland



The material comprised 1205 arctic charr caught by gillnets and electrofishing in the ice-free season 1982 in four interconnected lakes. The lakes were similar in biotic and abiotic factors and the arctic charr populations were therefore treated as one population. Two size groups of fish older than three years, called ‘small charr’ and ‘large charr’, were found. The two groups differed in feeding habits, growth rates, age of maturity and spawning frequencies. However, they did not differ in the frequencies of the F- and S- serum esterase alleles, and were in accord with the model proposed by Johnson (1976) which states that the ‘small charr’ and ‘large charr’ are two different forms of the same population. ‘Small charr’ recruit to the ‘large charr’ by entering a period of fast growth. In the investigated lakes this occurred when the ‘small charr’ were 3–10 years old. Some indications of rematuration of the ‘small charr’ when entering the group of ‘large charr’ were found.