Pink salmon caught in Newfoundland & Labrador

Two recent cases of pink salmon being found in Newfoundland and Labrador rivers are most likely the result of a stocking program — just not one on this continent.

Pink salmon are native to regions around the Pacific Ocean and are rarely seen in this part of the world. They are distinguishable from Atlantic salmon because of their greenish color and the fact that adult males have a large hump on their bodies not seen with their Atlantic cousins.

What’s the likely origins of these fish? The Russians.

Starting in the 1950s there was a stocking program to transplant pink salmon into some rivers in Northern Russia that ran until 2001. The stocking program seems to have been at least somewhat successful and there’s been an explosion of them this year.

Pink salmon from Russia have been reported in Scotland, Ireland and other parts of Europe over the last year or so, which has raised concerns that they could become established and displace other fish species.

LINK (via: CBC)

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One thought on “Pink salmon caught in Newfoundland & Labrador

  1. Although Russia might be the source of pinks, could they be of Canadian heritage? A Canadian hatchery accidentally stocked pinks into a Lake Superior tributary 60 or so years ago. Pinks now have self-sustaining populations in some of the Great Lakes, particularly Huron, and they are at least occasionally caught in all five. The journey from their heartland in northern Lake Huron to the Atlantic Ocean via the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River is about 1800 miles, and they could use the Welland Canal instead finding barrels to undertake the more challenging passage over Niagara Falls. The distance to Russia looks to be considerably more, but perhaps they may have been motivated to avoid yet another image of a shirtless Putin and heard about the better-looking and less ostentatious Trudeau. Their aesthestic sense of national leaders could also account for their opting to stay north. However, I think that border crossings are probably easier between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, versus the hassle of passports and visas that would be required to get from Russia to the Maritimes, so I wonder what other evidence supports a Russian origin.
    More info from the Michigan DNR: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_53405-214109–,00.html

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