A male Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) was caught in nets in the Tweed District on 2nd August. Male Pink Salmon are particularly distinctive as they develop a very prominent hump in front of the dorsal fin as well as a kype when sexually mature – summer is their spawning period.  Females are less obviously distinctive, but the heavily spotted tail, characteristic of Pacific salmonids, should immediately show them to be something very different from our native fish.

Pink Salmon were introduced to some Russian rivers around the White Sea in the 1960s and have since spread westwards and have now colonised some northern Norwegian rivers. There is also an introduced population in Newfoundland from which some rivers in Nova Scotia and Quebec have been colonised, but the most likely source of the fish that have turned up in the Tweed will be northern Norway.

Since this species appears to be able to spread its range (as shown by the colonisation of rivers in northern Norway and eastern Canada) it is possible that this species could successfully spawn in Scotland. Please therefore report any sightings to ASFB and Marine Scotland Science and any angler who catches one should remove it from the river.

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River Tweed Commission

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