Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from June 23-29 was 10,905 pikeminnow (up from 9,678 last week) from 1,127 anglers (down slightly from 1,140 last week) for a catch average of 9.7 fish per angler (up from 8.5 last week) with 15 tags recovered (up from seven last week).
There was one tagged fish for every 829 pikeminnow caught (better than one for every 1,382 last week).
The harvest season total is 77,781 pikeminnow from 10,150 anglers for a catch average of 7.7 fish per angler with 99 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Maryhillwith 20.8 fish per rod; Washougal and Boyer Park with 18.6; Giles French with 15.7; and Lyon’s Ferry with 14.3.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 10.5 for 2,461 anglers with 25,930 fish. The highest catch this past week occurred at Boyer Park with 124 anglers with 2,312 fish for 18.6 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.