Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 3-9 was 9,072 pikeminnow (compared to 6,422 the week before) from 1,300 anglers (1,086) for a catch average of 7.0 fish per angler up from 5.9 the previous week with 13 tags recovered (seven).
There was one tagged fish for every 698 pikeminnow caught (one for every 917 the week before).
The harvest season total is 38,999 pikeminnow from 6,960 anglers for a catch average of 5.6 fish per angler with 40 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 25.3 fish per rod; Bingen with 16.9; Ridgefield with 13.1; Beacon Rock with 12.1; and Maryhill with 10.4.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 66 anglers with 723 fish for 11.0; Kalama for 222 with 2,022 for 9.1; and Beacon Rock for 50 with 450 for 9.0. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 1,765 anglers with 13,621 fish for 7.7.
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)