Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from July 7-13 was 8,969 pikeminnow from 94 anglers for a catch average of 9.5 fish per angler with eight tags recovered.
There was one tagged fish for every 1,121 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 95,990 pikeminnow from 12,139 anglers for a catch average of 7.9 fish per angler with 116 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Boyer Park with 21.9 fish per rod; Washougal with 11.7; Lyon’s Ferry with 10.6; Bingen with 10.4; and Chinook Landing with 9.3.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 10.3 for 2,723 anglers with 27,973 fish. The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Boyer Park with 130 anglers with 2,846 fish for 21.9; and Columbia Point with 109 anglers with 1,006 fish for 9.2 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.