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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 16, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Northern Pikeminnow Fishing derby in southeastern Washington this Friday to Sunday

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Do your part as an angler by heading to southeastern Washington later this week, and catching the pesky northern pikeminnow, a voracious predator that dines heavily on juvenile salmon and steelhead.

The Quincy Valley Tourism Bureau and the Grant County PUD are hosting the Northern Pikeminnow Fishing Derby this Friday to Sunday (May 18-20) at Crescent Bar on the Columbia River.

There are no secrets to this fishery, in fact the PUD will tell you where to go and catch these fish, which can earn you a top prize that includes two fishing boats and $9,000 in cash for largest total catch count and largest fish caught.

Cost is is $20 and can be submitted online or onsite.

Officials from Bonneville Power Administration, which funds the program, say removing the pikeminnows saves about 4 million young salmon and steelhead from predation.

Since 1991, more than 3 million pikeminnows have been removed from the Snake and Columbia rivers. The harvested fish are collected and processed into fertilizer and poultry food.

For more information on the derby, go to the Quincy Valley Tourism website.

The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program is also now underway along many parts of the Columbia and Snake River systems through Sept. 30.

For the past 20 years, the Bonneville Power Association’s sport-reward program has reduced predation on these fish of concern.

Fish that are turned in as part of the reward program are used in liquid organic fertilizer for agriculture and fish meal for poultry and dairy cattle feed.

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.

Only fish caught from the Columbia mouth to Priest Rapids Dam, and from the Snake mouth to Hells Canyon Dam are eligible.

There are 21 check stations along both rivers. Anglers must register each day before fishing.

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.

(Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times photo archive)

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