Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from July 14-20 was 6,544 pikeminnow (down from 8,969 the week before) from 861 anglers for a catch average of 7.6 fish per angler (down from 9.5 the week before) with eight tags recovered (same as eight the week before).
There was one tagged fish for every 818 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 102,534 pikeminnow from 13,000 anglers for a catch average of 7.9 fish per angler with 124 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 16.9 fish per rod; Boyer Park with 16.2; PortCo (Marine Park) with 13.1; Vernita with 10.4; and Chinook Landing with 9.8.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 10.1 for 2,814 anglers with 28,382 fish. The best season’s catch so far has been at Washougal with 14.1 fish per rod; and Boyer Park with 13.7.
The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Boyer Park with 138 anglers with 2,231 fish for 16.9, and the highest catch occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 26 anglers with 439 fish for 16.9.
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.