Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from July 21-27 was 6,982 pikeminnow (up from 6,544 the week before) from 812 anglers (down from 861 the week before) for a catch average of 8.6 fish per angler (up from 7.6 the week before) with seven tags recovered (down from eight the week before).
There was one tagged fish for every 996 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 109,506 pikeminnow from 13,812 anglers for a catch average of 7.9 fish per angler with 131 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Giles French with 23.1 fish per rod; Washougal with 18.0; PortCo (Marine Park) with 17.6; Lyon’s Ferry with 11.8; and Boyer Park with 11.7. The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Boyer Park with 137 anglers with 1,600 fish for 11.7.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.9 for 2,917 anglers with 28,888 fish. The best season’s catch so far has been at Washougal with 14.1 fish per rod; Boyer Park with 13.4; and Lyon’s Ferry with 12.0.
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.