Pink Salmon: Non-Native Fish Species Alert

Inland Fisheries Ireland has appealed to anglers and the general public to remain vigilant and report the presence of any Pacific pink salmon in Irish river systems. To date, 30 pink salmon have been recorded in  Irish rivers.

Catches of pink salmon have been reported on the Foxford Fishery, Co. Mayo, the Coolcronan Fishery on the River Moy, the Galway Fishery on the River Corrib, the Cong River on the River Corrib and the Drowes and Crana Rivers in Donegal. The most recent catches have been on the River Erriff and River Owengarve  in County Mayo.

Identifying a Pink Salmon:

 pdfPink Salmon Factsheet and Identification Flyer (895 KB)  is available for download and footage of a pink Salmon at the River Erriff can be viewed here.

Pink salmon can be distinguished by a number of unique characteristics which are different to Atlantic salmon. They are as follows:

  • Large black oval spots on the tail
  • 11-19 rays on the anal fin
  • Very small scales– much smaller than a similarly-sized Atlantic Salmon
  • No dark spots on the gill cover
  • Upper jaw typically extending beyond the eye

Procedure to follow if a Pink Salmon is caught:

Anyone who catches a pink salmon is asked to:

  • Keep the fish and do not release it back into the water (even in rivers only open for catch and release angling)
  • Record the date & location of capture, length and weight of fish
  • Tag the fish and present it to Inland Fisheries Ireland and a new tag will be issued to replace the tag used
  • Take a photograph of the fish
  • Report it to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 hour confidential hotline number 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24 without delay.