Public asked to be vigilant after invasive fish species found river on Leitrim/Donegal border

The Pacific Pink Salmon has also been found in rivers and fisheries in Donegal, Mayo and Galway. An invasive species alert has now been issued by Inland Fisheries Ireland

Public asked to be vigilant after invasive fish species found river on Leitrim/Donegal border

An invasive species alert has been issued by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has appealed to anglers and the general public to remain vigilant and report the presence of any Pacific pink salmon in Irish river systems.

To date, 30 of the invasive pink salmon species have been recorded in Irish rivers.

Catches of pink salmon have been reported a number of rivers including the Drowes, on the border of Co Leitrim and Donegal. The fish have also 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 Crana River in Donegal. The most recent catches have been on the River Erriff and River Owengarve  in County Mayo.

Identifying a Pink Salmon:

A  Pink Salmon Factsheet and Identification Flyer is available for download here.

You can also view footage of a pink Salmon at the River Erriff here.

Pink salmon can be distinguished by a number of unique characteristics which are different to Atlantic salmon. They are as follows:

  • Large black oval spots on the tail
  • 11-19 rays on the anal fin
  • Very small scales– much smaller than a similarly-sized Atlantic Salmon
  • No dark spots on the gill cover
  • Upper jaw typically extending beyond the eye

Procedure to follow if a Pink Salmon is caught

Anyone who catches a pink salmon is asked to:

  • Keep the fish and do not release it back into the water (even in rivers only open for catch and release angling)
  • Record the date and location of capture, length and weight of fish
  • Tag the fish and present it to Inland Fisheries Ireland and a new tag will be issued to replace the tag used
  • Take a photograph of the fish
  • Report it to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 hour confidential hotline number 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24 without delay.

To continue reading this article, please register and log in.

Registration is free and you can also sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with your latest local news!


Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.