Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) is an ecologically and culturally important species of fish distributed across northern regions of the Holarctic. Anadromous forms of Arctic char, those that migrate to and from the sea, are typically lower in mercury concentrations than non-anadromous forms that are restricted to lakes and rivers. Using tissue burden data from the literature and our own analyses, we initially performed a screening-level risk assessment of methylmercury for non-anadromous Arctic char. To further investigate the potential effects of methylmercury exposure, we sampled and analyzed landlocked Arctic char from lakes in the Canadian High Arctic spanning a mercury contamination gradient. I will discuss results of these studies in relation to a long-term monitoring project carried out in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, while placing results in the context of a changing Arctic.
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