Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 9-15 was 9,956 pikeminnow (up from 8,463 last week) from 1,090 anglers (down from 1,212 last week) for a catch average of 9.1 fish per angler (down from 7.0 last week) with 12 tags recovered (down from 27 last week).
There was one tagged fish for every 829 pikeminnow caught (down from one for every 313 last week).
The harvest season total is 57,198 pikeminnow from 7,883 anglers for a catch average of 7.3 fish per angler with 77 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 27.7 fish per rod; The Dalles with 15.7; Beacon Rock with 14.7; Washougal with 14.6; and Boyer Park with 14.1.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 10.6 for 2,035 anglers with 21,599fish. The highest catch this past week occurred at Washougal with 299 anglers with 4,116 fish for 13.8 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.