Quebec government wants anglers to zero in on pink salmon

The species, first sighted in Ungava Bay 2 years ago, is considered invasive by provincial wildlife ministry

A male pink salmon. The Quebec government has deemed this species invasive to an area of the province, including Nunavik.(Image courtesy of WikiCommons/Timothy Knepp)

By David Lochead

Updated Aug. 10 at 10:20 a.m.

Pink salmon are swimming into a rude welcome in Nunavik.

Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has changed its sportfishing rules this summer to remove any catch limit for the species. The change is in effect in a number of areas of Quebec, including Nunavik, and is in place until Sept. 6.

The ministry says it’s a conservation issue.

“Two pink salmon were caught in the summer of 2019 in Ungava Bay, in Nunavik,” states an advisory the ministry sent out Aug. 2, that has been translated from French.

“In Quebec, these are the first records of this species from the North Pacific, considered invasive.”

The ministry describes pink salmon as less than one metre in length. During their silver phase, pink salmon have big black dots on their back and dark spots on their tail. In their reproductive phase, the males have a bump on their back and a hooked upper jaw.

The ministry asks anyone who catches a pink salmon not to release the fish, and to report any sighting or capture. Any captured pink salmon should be stored and transported whole.

Sportfishing for species reserved for Cree, Inuit and Naskapi is still prohibited, says the ministry. Those reserved species include lake whitefish, round whitefish, lake cisco, lake sturgeon, black sucker, red sucker, monkfish, mooneye and goldeye.

Correction: This story has been updated to fix the names of two fish species reserved for Cree, Inuit and Naskapi.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by JT on

    What are silver and golden eyed lacquer? I have never heard of these species and an internet search turns up no results. Do you have a scientific name or another common name? Thanks! -JT

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