Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from May 26-June 1 was 8,978 pikeminnow (down from 10,484 last week) from 1,219 anglers (down from 1,306 last week) for a catch average of 7.4 fish per angler (down from 8.0 last week) with 15 tags recovered (up from nine last week).
There was one tagged fish for every 598 pikeminnow caught (better than one for every 1,165 last week).
The harvest season total is 38,778 pikeminnow from 5,581 anglers for a catch average of 6.9 fish per angler with 38 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Beacon Rock with 19.7 fish per rod; Washougal with 17.7; The Dalles with 12.2; Bingen with 10.4; and Giles French with 10.3.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.9 for 1,541 anglers with 15,288 fish. The highest catch has occurred at Maryhill with 49 anglers with 703 fish for 14.3 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.