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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Latest Columbia River northern pikeminnow reward program catch figures

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Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.

The harvest total from May 13-19 was 6,737 pikeminnow (compared to 6,019 the week before) from 1,180 anglers (1,295) for a catch average of 5.7 fish per angler (4.6) with seven tags recovered (two).

There was one tagged fish for every 962 pikeminnow caught (one for every 3,010 the week before).

The harvest season total is 16,055 pikeminnow from 3,474 anglers for a catch average of 4.6 fish per angler with 15 tags recovered.

The best catches this past week occurred at Kalama with 11.6 fish per rod; Beacon Rock with 11.4; The Dalles with 8.9; Giles French with 8.8; and Ridgefield with 8.4.

Highest catch area for the season so far is Maryhill with 11.3 for 19 anglers with 215 fish. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 805 anglers with 5,192 fish.

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.

There is a reward program through Sept. 30 that offers a bounty on fish measuring 9 inches or longer.

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 www.pikeminnow.org.

(Photo by Seattle Times staff photographer)

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