In the land where green rules, anglers are seeing pink. As you would expect, pink salmon are not native species in Ireland, part of a United Kingdom where Atlantic salmon once were plentiful but disappearing from river systems.
Yet perhaps humpies are on the verge of a renaissance – albeit in an invasive manner – of appearing in UK waters.
As our head honco Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman noted earlier today, A press release from Ireland’s fisheries’ department explains more about the strange sightings of pinks on the Emerald Isle:
There have been several reports of non-native Pink Salmon in Galway, Mayo and Donegal rivers according to Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Pink Salmon species, which is of Pacific origin from the west coasts of the United States and Canada as well as Northern Asia, has been reported on several occasions during the past two weeks. The appearance of the species is of concern to Inland Fisheries Ireland as it may impact Ireland’s own Atlantic salmon species.
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 River in Donegal in recent days.
Pink or humpback salmon are a migratory species of salmon, native to river systems in the northern Pacific Ocean and adjacent regions of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. Outside of its native range, the species has established self-sustaining populations in rivers in northern Norway and in the far northwest of Russia. These populations are believed to have originated from stocking programmes undertaken in this part of Russia in the second half of the 20th century. In Ireland, there is no license to farm pink salmon.
One island over, Scottish fisheries have also seen evidence of pinks hauled out by anglers.
In nations where native salmon are in danger, it’s easy to say that pinks are a potential threat as all invasive species are, but Alaska’s hardly popular member of the Pacific salmon family, which as a species is struggling in the Last Frontier, seems to be on an unwanted British/Irish invasion tour these days.