Quebec government wants fishermen to focus on pink salmon


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

A male pink salmon. The Quebec government has found this species invasive in one region of the province, including Nunavik. (Image courtesy of WikiCommons / Timothy Knepp)


David Lochead

Pink salmon swim in a rude welcome in Nunavik.

The Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks changed its sport fishing rules this summer to remove any catch limit for the species. The change is in effect in several regions of Quebec, including Nunavik, and is in place until September 6.

The department says it’s a conservation issue.

“Two pink salmon were fished in the summer of 2019 in Ungava Bay, in Nunavik,” indicates a ministry notice released on August 2, translated from French.

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

The department describes pink salmon as being less than a meter long. During their silver phase, pink salmon have large black dots on their backs and dark spots on their tails. In their reproductive phase, males have a bump on their back and a hooked upper jaw.

The department asks anyone who catches a pink salmon not to release the fish and to report any sightings or catches. Any pink salmon caught must be stored and transported whole.

Sport fishing of species reserved for the Cree, the Inuit and the Naskapi is still prohibited, specifies the ministry. Species reserved include lake whitefish, lake whitefish, lake cisco, lake sturgeon, sucker, sucker, monkfish, silver lacquer and goldeneye lacquer.


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