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Scottish Anglers Asked to Remain Vigilant as Non-Native Pink Salmon Start to Appear in Scottish Rivers

Fisheries Management Scotland are asking anglers to remain vigilant as pink salmon start to arrive in Scottish Rivers.

Following reports of large numbers of Pink salmon in Norway, Pink salmon are now being reported in rivers in Scotland, England and Ireland. At the time of writing, eight Pink salmon have so far been captured in Scottish rivers, and a number of sightings have also been reported. Fisheries Management Scotland have developed a reporting tool and we are encouraging all anglers to help us collect information on the numbers of pink salmon being caught in Scottish rivers. All reports of pink salmon can now be viewed in real time.

REPORT PINK SALMON CAPTURES OR SIGHTINGS

Fisheries Management Scotland, in close liaison with Marine Scotland, NatureScot and SEPA, have produced detailed guidance on what to do if you capture or observe Pink salmon in Scotland, together with a tool for recording captures or sightings. Marine Scotland have produced a Topic Sheet on reporting Pink salmon in Scottish waters.

Pink salmon caught on the River Tweed on 29th June (The Tweed Foundation)
Pink salmon caught on the River Ness on 30th June (Ness District Salmon Fishery Board)

Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are not native to Scotland and are known to have ‘strayed’ from rivers in northern Norway and Russia. These fish were originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, have slowly spread westwards and have now colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. These fish have a two-year life-cycle and generally spawn in summer (and often in main river channels in the lower reaches of rivers).

In 2017, unprecedented numbers of Pink salmon were captured across the UK. During 2019 a smaller number were reported, but early indications this year from Norwegian sea fishery catches in June warned of a larger population this year.

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