Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from May 27-June 2 was 6,422 pikeminnow (compared to 7,450 the week before) from 1,086 anglers (1,100) for a catch average of 5.9 fish per angler (6.8) with seven tags recovered (five).
There was one tagged fish for every 917 pikeminnow caught (one for every 1,490 the week before).
The harvest season total is 29,927 pikeminnow from 5,660 anglers for a catch average of 5.3 fish per angler with 27 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Kalama with 15.9 fish per rod; Ridgefield with 11.6; Beacon Rock with 10.8; Lyon’s Ferry with 9.7; and Bingen with 8.7.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Kalama for 184 anglers with 1,856 fish for 10.1. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 1,457 anglers with 10,759 fish for 7.4.
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)