Escaped invasive salmon pose threat to Kilkenny rivers
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY rivers are under threat from invading non-native salmon that could wreak havoc with the local ecosystem and put native species at risk.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued a warning to the public asking them to report any Pacific pink salmon people spot in local rivers.
Pacific pink salmon, more commonly found in Ireland in tins and lunchpots, has in recent years appeared in Irish rivers in ever-increasing numbers. It is believed they escaped hatcheries in Russia in recent years.
Dr Cathal Gallagher, IFI’s head of research and Development said: “The potential presence of pink salmon in Irish rivers again is of ongoing concern to Inland Fisheries Ireland as its presence in large numbers may negatively impact some of Ireland’s native species such as Atlantic salmon and sea trout as well as estuarine and coastal marine fish species and their associated ecosystems.”
Pink salmon differ from Atlantic Salmon as the adult fish are blue-green on the back, with silver sides and a white underbelly when out of the sea. They also develop a humpback when in fresh water, and have smaller scales among other differences.
Anyone who catches a pink salmon is asked to photo it, tag it, report the date and location, report the weight and length, and keep the fish.
The IFI will collect the fish for further examination.
Anglers are asked to report catches of pink salmon to IFI’s 24-hour confidential hotline number at 1890 34 74 24.