An appeal has been made to the public after a mysterious pink salmon was spotted in Galway.
Pictured above: Atlantic salmon with Blue tag and below the mysterious pink salmon.
The appeal was made yesterday after numerous reports of the non-native salmon swimming in the waters of the West.
The species, which originates in The US and Canada, has been reported on several occasions over the past fortnight.
Inland Fisheries have called on the public to report sighting ASAP as they fear it may have an effect on the local salmon populations.
Catches of the “foreign” salmon have been spotted at Foxford Fishery in May, Coolcronan fishery on the River Moy, the Cong fishery on the River Corrib, and also in the Galway Fishery on the River Corrib as well as the Drowes river in County Donegal.
There is currently no licence available in Ireland to farm the pink salmon, who are known to be a migratory species.
The species differs from our native breed in a few ways, so if you think you may have seen one check the list of characteristics below before making a report.
The pink salmon have large oval black spots on their tails, their upper jaw also extends beyond the eye of the fish, They have very small scales much smaller than our own species, they have no dark spots on the gill cover, and they have between 11 and 19 rays on their anal fin.
The appearance of the fish has been described as a “mystery” by Dr Greg Forde, who is the head of Operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland.
He says it is unlikely they came from migration due to their small size, as he appealed to the public to report any sightings.
Dr Forde urged anybody who spots one of the fish to record the date and location of capture with out delay as well as the weight of the fish. They also ask that you take a photograph of the species for their records.
Reports can be made to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 hour confidential hotline number - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. For further information about Pink Salmon and to download the Pink Salmon Factsheet, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie .