Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Sept. 16-22 was 6,363 pikeminnow (compared to 6,327 the week before) from 517 anglers (579) for a catch average of 12.3 fish per angler up from 10.9 the previous week with three tags recovered (two).
There was one tagged fish for every 2,121 pikeminnow caught (one for every 3,163 the week before).
The harvest season total is 155,245 pikeminnow from 19,622 anglers for a catch average of 7.9 fish per angler with 158 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at PortCo (Marine Park) with 29.0 fish per rod; Washougal with 28.5; Ridgefield with 23.7; Gleason with 20.4; and Greenbelt with 19.5.
Highest catch area for the season so far is Lyon’s Ferry for 398 anglers with 6,506 fish for 16.3. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 3,368 anglers with 26,265 fish for 7.8 and 27 tags recovered; and Boyer Park with 1,912 anglers with 24,145 fish for 12.6 and four 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.