In order to extend the knowledge on the possible effect of diet on the gastrointestinal microbial community of fish, Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.) were fed diets containing high (23.7%) and low (6.4%) levels of carbohydrate. The number of viable aerobic and facultative aerobic bacteria associated with the digestive tract were not influenced by dietary regimen. A wide range of bacterial species was isolated, and the predominant bacterial species of both rearing groups were identified as Staphylococcus. There were, however, some differences in bacterial composition between the rearing groups, as well as inter-individual variations. For example, atypical Aeromonas salmonicida were isolated from the small and large intestine of two fish fed low dietary carbohydrate, while Aer. caviae-like isolates were found in the small intestine of four fish fed high carbohydrate. Non-motile Aeromonas spp. were found in the rearing group fed high dietary carbohydrate, but at low frequencies. Dietary manipulation seemed to influence the species composition of carnobacteria, Gram-positive rods, oxidase and catalase-negative and fermentative metabolism. Carnobacterium piscicola-like bacteria were only found in the small intestine, while C. mobile-like and Carnobacterium spp. were isolated from the large intestine of fish fed high carbohydrate. On the contrary, C. divergens-like isolates were found associated with the small and large intestine of fish fed low dietary carbohydrate.