Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from May 19-25 was 10,484 pikeminnow (up from 9,285 last week) from 1,306 anglers (1,243) for a catch average of 8.0 fish per angler (7.5) with nine tags recovered (five).
There was one tagged fish for every 1,165 pikeminnow caught (1,857).
The harvest season total is 29,800 pikeminnow from 4,362 anglers for a catch average of 6.8 fish per angler with 23 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Beacon Rock with 29.5 fish per rod; Maryhill with 24.0; Washougal with 14.5; The Dalles with 12.4; and Vernita with 12.3.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.3 for 1,213 anglers with 11,290 fish. The highest catch has occurred at Maryhill with 35 anglers with 610 fish for 17.4 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.