Return of the Pink Salmon

July 03, 2019

The first pink salmon of 2019 has been caught on the lower Dee whilst fishing for Atlantic salmon. The 2-3lb fish was easily distinguished by its spotted tail and black tongue/gums.

In 2017, pink salmon were caught in the lower Dee in July and August. Their two year life cycle suggested we would see none in 2018, but would again in 2019.

Information for anglers

There have been some questions about the law and the capture of Pinks.

To be clear:

  • If an angler catches one while fishing for Atlantic salmon, the fish must be retained and reported – in this case no action will be taken.
  • It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to fish for or have in your possession a pink salmon and so the deliberate targeting of pinks or non-reporting will lead to further action.

How you can help

The River Office and Scottish Government are keen to find out where and when any Pinks are captured and or seen. This will help us to develop a picture of their distribution and abundance

  • If you catch a Pink salmon whilst fishing please humanely dispatch and retain the fish for further analysis by Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Call the River office on our 24 hr number 01339 880411 to make arrangements for collection by one of our team .

The information we need from you.

  • the date of capture
  • the location
  • the method used to catch the fish
  • the sex of the fish if known
  • the number of other Pinks sighted


How are the River Office Dealing with Pink Salmon

We are advised to try and remove any Pinks prior to spawning and will be looking to do so under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage, should there be enough numbers to merit this approach. Based on spawning activity in 2017, we expect to carry out this this work from late July into early August.

Further Information

Pink Salmon Marine Scotland Science Topic Sheet 2019


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