Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from May 12-18 was 9,285 pikeminnow from 1,243 anglers for a catch average of 7.5 fish per angler with five tags recovered.
There was one tagged fish for every 1,857 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 19,316 pikeminnow from 3,056 anglers for a catch average of 6.3 fish per angler with 14 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Maryhill with 52.8 fish per rod; PortCo (Marine Park) with 15.2; Washougal with 11.7; and Vernita and The Dalles with 10.9.
Highest catch area for the season so far is PortCo (Marine Park) on Lower Columbia River with 15.4 for 77 anglers with 1,188 fish. The most effort and highest catch has occurred at The Dalles with 853 anglers with 6,832 fish for 8.0 fish per angler.
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.