Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 17-23 was 10,970 pikeminnow (compared to 10,016 the week before) from 1,136 anglers (1,164) for a catch average of 9.7 fish per angler up from 8.6 the previous week with 18 tags recovered (14).
There was one tagged fish for every 609 pikeminnow caught (one for every 698 the week before).
The harvest season total is 59,985 pikeminnow from 9,260 anglers for a catch average of 6.5 fish per angler with 72 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Maryhill with 37.0 fish per rod; Lyon’s Ferry with 24.4; Boyer Park with 19.2; Bingen with 12.5; and Beacon Rock with 10.9.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 125 anglers with 2,680 fish for 21.4; Boyer Park for 568 with 6,142 for 10.8; and Bingen for 232 with 2,299 for 9.9. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 2,242 anglers with 18,085 fish for 8.1 with 20 tags receovered.
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.