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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 4, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Northern pikeminnow reward catch levels improve slightly this past week

Here is the weekly update for the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program on the Columbia River, which has been extended through Oct. 16.

The harvest total from Sept. 26-Oct. 2 was 5,066 pikeminnow (6,550 the prior week) from 557 anglers (725 the prior week) for a catch average of 9.1 fish per angler (up from the prior week of 9.0) with four tags recovered (five the prior week).

Year to date totals of 23,659 anglers with 147,848 fish, and catch average of 6.2 fish per rod with 148 tags recovered.

Northern pikeminnow, a large member of the minnow family, are known to eat millions of young salmon and steelhead, and other fish like bass, walleye and shad in the Columbia and Snake rivers each year.

Last year’s total catch was 173,981 fish on 25,271 angler trips.

The reward program has been extended at 12 stations through Oct. 16 that offers a bounty on fish measuring 9 inches or longer.

The 12 remaining check stations open are Cathlamet Marina, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Willow Grove, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Rainier, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; Chinook Landing, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Washougal, 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; Cascade Locks, 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; The Dalles, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Giles, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; Columbia Point, 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; Vernita, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Boyer Park, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Greenbelt, 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Anglers must register each day before fishing.

The more northern pikeminnow an angler catches, the more the fish are worth. The first 100 are worth $4 each; the next 300 are worth $5 each, and after 400 fish are caught and turned in, they are worth $8 each. As an added incentive, specially tagged fish are worth $500.

Catches must be checked in at the station each day, and reward vouchers will be given. For details, call 800-858-9015 or visit the Pikeminnow Reward Program website.

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