Anglers alerted to presence of Pacific pink salmon

Concern mounts over potential for species to spread in rivers throughout North Atlantic region

Mature male pink salmon with characteristic humpback and spotted tail. Photograph: Eva Thorstad

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has asked waterway users to be on the lookout for Pacific pink salmon in Irish Waters

The State agency responsible for the conservation and protection of freshwater fish and habitats said it has serious concerns about the potential for Pacific pink salmon to establish themselves and spread in rivers throughout the North Atlantic region. Concerns were raised after explosive growth in their numbers was observed in northern Norwegian rivers in 2021.

Also known as humpback salmon, the pink variety are a migratory species native to river systems in the northern Pacific Ocean and nearby regions of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean.

Anyone who catches a pink salmon is asked to keep the fish and not release it back into the water. Anglers are asked to report sightings to any IFI office or via the 24-hour confidential hotline number — 0818 347424 or 0818 FISH 24


Pink salmon are blue-green to steel blue on the back, with silver sides and a white underbelly. They have large black oval spots on the tail and very small scales — much smaller than a similarly sized Atlantic Salmon

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist