Pink Salmon in Our Rivers

The threat of pink salmon means that our already critically endangered Atlantic salmon are in very serious ecological crisis.

The sudden increase in pink salmon stocks in northern Norway seen in 2021 and increased reporting of this non-native species in UK rivers in recent years is of particular concern. 

The presence of large numbers of pink salmon in Welsh rivers could negatively impact some of our native species such as Atlantic salmon and sea trout as well as estuarine and coastal marine fish species and their associated ecosystems.  Despite only very limited information being currently available to comprehensively assess such threats, climatic and environmental conditions in Wales are considered amenable to facilitate the potential establishment of Pacific pink salmon populations in our river systems.

NRW is appealing to anglers to report catches of pink salmon to our  24-hour confidential hotline number – 03000 65 300 or report it online at Natural Resources Wales / Report an incident

Fisheries management organisations across the UK are sharing information and advice to ensure that any appearance of pink salmon in Wales can be monitored and managed appropriately. This will include ongoing advice to stakeholders, awareness raising and liaison with other UK and international fishery managers to exchange information on any new situation.

Advice for anglers and netsmen in Wales

REPORT IT!  Natural Resources Wales / Report an incident

If you are absolutely confident that you have caught a pacific pink salmon, the fish should be humanely despatched.

If you are not absolutely confident that you have caught a pink salmon, then the fish should be released back to the river alive where it was captured. This is to ensure that no Atlantic salmon are retained in error.

Remember – it is an offence to take Atlantic salmon in any Welsh waters, and we will take enforcement action against anyone in possession of one.   

NRW will then arrange collection of the fish for further examination. This will help establish the abundance and extent of distribution of the species.

Further information is available in the briefing note attached and on our Pink salmon page Natural Resources Wales / Identify and report Pacific pink salmon

And in the briefing note(s) below: