Within the populations of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus in Storvatn and Rungavatn, Norway, fish that attained the largest size in the late parr stage migrated as 4+ smolts, fish that attained a medium size became 5+ smolts, and the smallest parr became lake residents. Within the last 2 years of the parr stage, those that became anadromous had a lower growth rate during the winter and early summer than those that became resident, and vice versa in late summer. Thus, anadromous fish grew faster in the parr stage, but in years prior to migration, their growth pattern seemed to differ from that of parr that became resident. Due to early size differences between parr that became anadromous or resident, it is suggested that some of the basis for the decision to smoltify or not in charr depends on the growth rate through the whole parr stage, but with significant modification by the local environment. Rungavatn parr had a significantly higher population density (5 ×), higher lipid content and mortality, an earlier maturation, a lower rate of growth, and only one-third the degree of anadromy than those from Storvatn. It is suggested that the two charr populations have evolved different life-history adaptations due to unequal growth, energy allocation and competition opportunities in the lakes.