Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from July 8-14 was 9,242 pikeminnow (compared to 8,190 the week before) from 1,022 anglers (978) for a catch average of 9.0 fish per angler same as 8.4 the previous week with 12 tags recovered (six).
There was one tagged fish for every 770 pikeminnow caught (one for every 1,365 the week before).
The harvest season total is 88,826 pikeminnow from 12,384 anglers for a catch average of 7.2 fish per angler with 104 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 18.7 fish per rod; Giles French with 17.7; Boyer Park with 15.9; and Vernita with 9.7.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 210 anglers with 3,867 fish for 18.4. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 2,701 anglers with 22,563 fish for 8.4 with 25 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.