Highland and North-East rivers are reporting several catches of fresh-run, non-native Pink salmon. Two catches have been reported on the Ness and one on the Helmsdale. There is one unverified report of a Pink being caught on the Inverness Angling Club’s water.
Originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, these fish have slowly spread westwards and colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. Those appearing in Scotland are likely to have strayed from Norway. Fisheries Management Scotland have issued an Advice Note available at:
When fresh from the sea, Pacific pink salmon are steel blue to blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large black spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fins and tail. Some of the spots on the tail can be as large as fish’s eyes. They are uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length. If you are confident that you have caught a Pink salmon, it should be humanely killed and retained. Captures should be reported to the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board and, if possible, passed to them for further inspection and analysis.