The Foyle system witnessed its first catch of Pink Salmon last week. Angler Alban Norrby caught this 2.6lb fish on the River Mourne on the fly. Alban reported the catch to Loughs Agency immediately were our Fisheries Biologist, Arthur Niven confirmed the identification of species and took scale samples.
Loughs Agency are appealing to the anglers to help identify and report sightings. The Pink Salmon species, which is of Pacific origin and not native to the Atlantic has been reported on several occasions during the past two weeks. The appearance of the species is of concern to Loughs Agency as it may impact Atlantic salmon species.
Catches of Pink Salmon have also 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 River in Donegal, as well as the River Ness and Helmsdale in Scotland recently.
The species has a number of unique characteristics which are different to Atlantic Salmon. Pink salmon can be distinguished by the following:
– 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
They also have a white mouth with black gums and tongue.
“They have no “teeth” on the tongue and their tail is covered with large oval spots.
The scales are very small compared to other salmon of the same size – average about 4.5lbs in weight.
Loughs Agency is asking members of the public who catch a Pink Salmon to contact Loughs Agency without delay and to record date & location of capture, length & weight of fish and to take a photograph of the fish. The fish should be kept for further examination by Loughs Agency. Retained fish should be tagged, but Loughs Agency will replace the tag used.
Reports can be made to Loughs Agency 24 hour confidential hotline number Tel: 02871 342100