The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Salvelinus alpinus
Salvelinus alpinus
(Arctic Char)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name: Arctic Char

Synonyms and Other Names: (formerly included blueback char, blueback trout, Sunapee trout).

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Everhart (1976); Page and Burr (1991); closely resembles the Dolly Varden S. malma.

Size: 96 cm.

Native Range: Circumpolar; coastal areas in Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific drainages from Newfoundland to Alaska; south along Atlantic Slope to New England. Also in Eurasia (Page and Burr 1991).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Salvelinus alpinus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CT188018801New England Region
ID192720093South Fork Payette; Upper Salmon; Upper Snake-Rock
ME187820019Aroostook River; Dead River; East Branch Penobscot River; Lower Androscoggin River; Maine Coastal; New England Region; Presumpscot; Upper Androscoggin River; West Branch Penobscot River
MA189618961New England Region
MI198519851Great Lakes Region
NH187819776Black River-Connecticut River; Headwaters Connecticut River; Merrimack River; New England; Pemigewasset River; Saco River
NJ190519781Mid-Atlantic Region
NY188819673Hackensack-Passaic; Lake Champlain; Seneca

Table last updated 6/15/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Means of Introduction: Most of these introductions took place a hundred years ago and were intended to enhance sportfishing. Stock for New Jersey (and possibly New York) came from Europe.

Status: Extirpated in Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. Stocked in Colorado.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: None.

References: (click for full references)

Bean, T.H. 1903. Catalogue of the fishes of New York. New York State Museum Bulletin 60, Zoology 9. University of the State of New York Bulletin 278.

Colorado Division of Wildlife. 1993. 1993 fish planting schedule. Denver, CO.

Emery, L. 1985. Review of fish introduced into the Great Lakes, 1819-1974. Great Lakes Fishery Commission Technical Report, volume 45.

Everhart, W.H. 1976. Fishes of Maine. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Augusta, ME.

Fowler, H.W. 1906. The fishes of New Jersey. 35-477 in Annual Report of the New Jersey State Museum for 1905. MacCrellish and Quigley, State Province, Trenton, NJ.

Fowler, H.W. 1952. A list of the fishes of New Jersey, with off-shore species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 104:89-151.

Hoover, E.E. 1936. Preliminary biological survey of some New Hampshire lakes. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Survey Report No. 1. Concord, NH.

Linder, A.D. 1963. Idaho's alien fishes. Tebiwa 6(2):12-15.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Stiles, E.W. 1978. Vertebrates of New Jersey. Edmund W. Stiles, Somerset, NJ.

Walker, P. 1993. A list of the endemic and introduced fishes of Colorado - March, 1993. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Aquatic Resources Unit. Unpublished manuscript.

Whitworth, W.R. 1996. Freshwater fishes of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin 114.

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 4/30/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/30/2012

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=935, Revision Date: 4/30/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/30/2012, Access Date: 6/16/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/16/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.