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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 13, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Northern pikeminnow catch improves slightly on Columbia River

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

The harvest total from Oct. 3-9 was 4,017 pikeminnow from 392 anglers for a catch average of 10.2 fish per angler with two tags recovered.

Year to date totals of 24,052 anglers with 151,871 fish, and catch average of 6.3 fish per rod with 151 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 station 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 French, 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 360-906-6707 or visit the Pikeminnow Reward Program website.

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