Wednesday, July 26, 2017

From Russia with fins.

My mate Robert text me earlier this month to say he'd caught a Pacific pink salmon whilst out fishing on a Scottish river. I thought he was winding me up to start with and quickly replied "Tinny be silly!". He insisted he was being serious and sent me the photo below. Doing a bit of research into them I realised he wasn't joking at all.

It was indeed a Pacific pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). Also known as humpback salmon, a few are now being caught by anglers in UK river systems.

It seems Russia carried out a huge stocking programme about sixty years ago and the species, having subsequently turned up in some Norwegian and Icelandic river systems, is now showing up in ours too. Of course, being a foreign invader, the fish pictured above was quickly dealt with. For some reason when I was told this, John Smeaton, a hero of the foiled 2007 terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport, came to mind.

"They can try and come to Britain and they can try to disrupt us any way they want."

So, humpback salmon, you have been warned. Try to enter our rivers to terrorise the native fish populations and as the bold John Smeaton put it, "We'll set about ye!".

Tight lines, Scott.

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