Invasive Species — Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Species Affected

Alaska’s native salmon and trout could be negatively affected if escaped Atlantic salmon begin spawning in Alaskan waters. Atlantic salmon have been documented spawning in streams in British Columbia. Our concern is that Atlantic salmon could compete with native salmon and trout for spawning and rearing habitat. Juvenile Atlantic salmon are notably more aggressive than Pacific salmon, this characteristic could enable them to outcompete Pacific salmon for food, but may also force native salmon off their natal rearing habitat.

Because Atlantic salmon are held in large, overpopulated net pens, they are treated for disease and parasites. Treated fish may not show signs of pathogens but can be carriers. ADF&G is concerned that Atlantic salmon that can escape or are released from aquaculture net pens may introduce disease or parasites to valuable Pacific salmon fisheries.