The monogenean ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957, has had a devastating effect on wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) since its introduction to Norway in the mid-1970s. In Lake Pålsbufjorden, southern Norway, upstream of the stretches of the River Numedalslågen with anadromous Atlantic salmon, a resident Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) population has been reported to be infected with G. salaris which is viable in the absence of its normal host, the Atlantic salmon. Currently, there is no record of G. salaris infecting Atlantic salmon in the downstream sections of the River Numedalslågen. We studied experimentally the infectivity and reproductive capacity of G. salaris from Lake Pålsbufjorden on wild and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon as well as on Arctic charr and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Arctic charr and rainbow trout were moderately susceptible, whereas the Atlantic salmon stocks from River Numedalslågen and River Drammenselva were innately resistant to only slightly susceptible. Thus, the G. salaris from Arctic charr in Lake Pålsbufjorden is considered non-pathogenic to Atlantic salmon. This is the first observation of variation in host preference among Norwegian G. salaris populations. The observed differences in virulence between G. salaris populations could have important consequences for the international legislation and management of Atlantic salmon.