Pacific humpback salmon recorded in River Tweed


A Pacific humpback salmon has been officially recorded in the British Isles for the first time.

The fish, normally a resident of Pacific and Arctic coastal waters, was caught in the River Tweed on the English-Scottish border by angler Louis Hunter in July 2007.

I knew straight away what it was, Mr Hunter, 68, told the Telegraph. You can't mistake them. The male develops a bug hump between its head and dorsal fin when it is spawning and it has a tremendous set of teeth.

Despite previous reports of Pacific humpback salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, being caught in the UK, this is the first time that the fish has been submitted to, and verified by, the British Records Fish Committee (BRFC).

It is a long time since we put a new fish on our game list, said Ian Epps of the BRFC.

Over the last two or three years we have had reports of them being caught in British waters in nets and on rod and line, but this is the first time anybody has applied for one for the records.

During the last decade, Pacific humpback salmon have begun successfully spawning in rivers in Norway and Iceland. However, it is believed that the fish caught in British waters are those that have simply strayed in by mistake, with no indication of a population establishing itself or any breeding activity.

There is no evidence at the moment that they are breeding in the UK. For that to happen, you need a male and female to swim up river and spawn, said Ian Epps.