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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

November 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Columbia River northern pikeminnow final reward program top angler earns $77,238

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This past season’s northern pikeminnow reward catch figures dipped a little compared to 2011, but it still took out enough of the predatory fish that are known to gorge on young salmon and steelhead.

A total of 906 anglers participated this season, catching 152,631 northern pikeminnows compared to 930 with 155,000 in 2011. This season the grand total paid out to anglers was $1,087,900 of that the top-20 anglers were paid out $496,477.

For the third year in a row, Nikolay N. Zaremskiy of Gresham, Ore., was the top money earner during 2012 with a total of 9,324 fish and cashing them in for $77,238 compared to 8,000 fish fror $66,478 in 2011.

But while that’s not bad for a six-month season, it fell short of his record in 2010, when Zaremskiy caught more than 10,000 fish and earned $81,000.

Runner-up for the second year in a row is David R. Vasilchuk of Vancouver, Wash., who caught 4,616 fish and earned $41,542 ($60,742 in 2011).

Vasilchuk also caught the most tagged fish each worth $500 apiece with a total of 12 out of the 60 tagged fish caught all season. A total of 180 tagged fish were handed in and paid out $90,000.

The program pays $4 for the first 100 fish, $5 for fish numbers 101 through 400, and $8 per fish after 400.

This past season 724 anglers reached the $4 level, 85 made it to the $5, and 97 hit the $8 mark compared to 80 in 2011. A total of 461 anglers averaged 10 fish or less while 238 averaged two fish or less.

A total of 28,660 fish were caught at the $4 level and paid out $114,640; 37,786 at the $5 level for $188,930; and 86,005 at the $8 level for $688,040. A total of 22,966 anglers had a catch average of 6.9 fish per rod.

Others hitting the Top-20 mark were: 3, Steven A. Weber with 4,602 fish for an earning of $36,510; 4, Thomas H. Papst, 3,451 for $27,305; 5, Matthew R. Tennison, 3,348 for $26,970; 6, Duane P. Bleth, 3,141 for $24,822; 7, Viktor M. Orlovskiy, 3,119 for $26,122; 8, Ivar R. Vasilchuk, 2,932 for $25,610; 9, Timothy L. Histand, 2,702 for $20,326; 10, Oleg R. Vasilchuk, 2,678 for $21,616; 11, Lin Rajaphoumy, 2,491 for $19,622; 12, Lance G. Uppendahl, 2,418 for $18,054; 13, Hollie Darden Jr., 2,324 for $18.286; 14, Anatoliy P. Sabadash, 2,254 for $16,742; 15, Petr S. Lyubchik, 2,200 for $16,310; 16, Anatoliy A. Gutsal, 2,182 for $19,614; 17, Leonid V. Protsenko, 2,030 for $15,934; 18, Daniel J. Geiger, 2,026 for $15,410; 19, Frank D. Vaughn, 1,891 for $14,822; 20, Chris W. Van Buren, 1,864 for $13,622.

Officials from Bonneville Power Administration, which funds the program, say removing the pikeminnows saves about 4 million young salmon and steelhead, and other fish like bass, walleye and shad in the Columbia and Snake rivers each year from predation. The harvested fish are collected and processed into fertilizer and poultry food.

For details, call 800-858-9015 or visit the Pikeminnow Reward Program website.

(Photo courtesy of the Seattle Times Photo Department)

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