Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Aug. 5-11 was 5,721 pikeminnow (compared to 7,044 the week before) from 775 anglers (834) for a catch average of 7.4 fish per angler down from 8.3 the previous week with five tags recovered (eight).
There was one tagged fish for every 1,144 pikeminnow caught (one for every 881 the week before).
The harvest season total is 116,381 pikeminnow from 15,765 anglers for a catch average of 7.4 fish per angler with 136 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at PortCo (Marine Park) with 23.5 fish per rod; Bingen with 12.7; Lyon’s Ferry with 11.9; Greenbelt with 11.8; and Ridgefield with 11.5.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 281 anglers with 4,715 fish for 16.8. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 3,056 anglers with 25,152 fish for 8.2 with 27 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.