, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 173-177

Marine food and diet overlap of co-occurring Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.), brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Atlantic salmon S. salar L. off Senja, N. Norway

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Stomach contents analyses and other biological information of Arctic charr (Savelinus alpinus (L.)), brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) and small Atlantic salmon (S. salar L.) caught 1982–85 close to the Åelv estuary (69°N) on the island of Senja, N. Norway are presented, and extracts of a 1975–85 fishing log given. this appears to be the first case study of the feeding habits of all three European anadromous salmonids in marine sympatry, and also one of very few reports on the marine food of the Arctic charr from Europe. The general feeding habits of the charr were similar to that found in N. Canada. Pelagic fish (herring, sand-eel) seem to be preferred. Plankton (crab megalopae, krill) and hyperbenthos (amphipods, mysids) are also taken, especially when suitable fish are scarce. In 1985 high herring densities provided superabundant food, and diet overlap between charr, trout and salmon was high. Salmonid nursery rivers are abundant in N. Norway and during summer the three species coexist in a near-shore, surface-oriented pelagic guild of fishes. The salmon seems to be a relatively specialized piscivore, while the trout takes a wider range of fish and also invertebrate prey. The charr probably is the most euryphagous of the three, being able to exploit the more marginal parts of the prey resources of their common habitat.