Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 24-30 was 10,848 pikeminnow (compared to 10,970 the week before) from 1,124 anglers (1,136) for a catch average of 9.7 fish per angler same as 9.7 the previous week with 14 tags recovered (18).
There was one tagged fish for every 775 pikeminnow caught (one for every 609 the week before).
The harvest season total is 70,833 pikeminnow from 10,384 anglers for a catch average of 6.8 fish per angler with 86 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Maryhill with 21.5 fish per rod; Boyer Park with 16.7; Giles French with 13.5; Washougal with 13.1; and Columbia Point with 13.0.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 158 anglers with 3,018 fish for 19.1; Boyer Park for 696 with 8,276 for 11.9; and Beacon Rock for 122 with 1,204 for 9.9. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 2,465 anglers with 20,890 fish for 8.5 with 22 tags recovered.
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.