Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Aug. 12-18 was 6,809 pikeminnow (compared to 5,721 the week before) from 767 anglers (775) for a catch average of 8.9 fish per angler up from 7.4 the previous week with four tags recovered (five).
There was one tagged fish for every 1,702 pikeminnow caught (one for every 1,144 the week before).
The harvest season total is 123,190 pikeminnow from 16,532 anglers for a catch average of 7.5 fish per angler with 140 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at PortCo (Marine Park) with 24.2 fish per rod; Kalama with 22.9; Ridgefield with 22.3; Rainier with 14.2; and Bingen with 12.1.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 319 anglers with 5,074 fish for 15.9. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 3,125 anglers with 25,524 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.