Ice Age survivors: a tale of two land-locked fish

Maine lakes are home to two evolutionary wonders of the animal kingdom, Arctic char and landlocked salmon, related species of fish that exist in very few places.

They descend from a common ancestor that lived millions of years ago. Evolution took them on diverging pathways during repeated ice ages. The char stayed farther north, swimming in pools of meltwater along the edges of ice sheets, navigating unstable landscapes of loose rock, sediment, water, ice. Growing glaciers pushed char uphill on a wave of water, or forced them to the icy margins.

Read more in the May issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors.char