Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 2-8 was 8,463 pikeminnow (down from 8,978 last week) from 1,212 anglers (down from 1,219 last week) for a catch average of 7.0 fish per angler (down from 7.4 last week) with 27 tags recovered (up from 15 last week).
There was one tagged fish for every 313 pikeminnow caught (better than one for every 598 last week).
The harvest season total is 47,241 pikeminnow from 6,793 anglers for a catch average of 7.0 fish per angler with 65 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 21.6 fish per rod; Washougal with 18.5; Bingen with 14.1; The Dalles with 10.7; and Maryhill with 10.4.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 10.0 for 1,828 anglers with 18,348 fish. The highest catch has occurred at Maryhill with 54 anglers with 755 fish for 14.0 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.