Odd year suggests arrival of pinks

Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) have issued fresh advice to anglers and fishery boards about dealing with Pacific pink salmon which could arrive in Scotland’s rivers this year. It follows the capture of unprecedented numbers of pinks across the UK in 2017.

Originally introduced to some Russian rivers in the 1960s, pinks have now colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. It is from these rivers that the 2017 arrivals are thought to have ‘strayed’. They spawn earlier than Atlantic salmon, have a two-year cycle and derive from distinct odd or even year stocks. Those that arrived in the UK in 2017 were from odd year stocks, so it is possible that they will occur again during 2019.

While the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to fish for and retain pink salmon, FMS advise that anglers catching pink salmon should humanely dispatch and retain the fish, and immediately contact the local fishery board who will arrange collection. IAC membership cards list a contact for the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Information required is the date, place and method of capture, and the sex of the fish. Any sightings of unusual spawning activity in August and September should also be reported. 

Fresh from the sea, pinks are steel blue with blue-green on their backs, silver on the flanks and white on their bellies. There are large spots on the backs, upper flanks, adipose fin and tail. The fish are uniform in size, reaching only 40 to 60cms in length and have a white mouth with black gums. In the spawning phase, males develop a pronounced humped back.


Inverness Angling Club

Ness Walk

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