Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Aug. 11-17 was 5,215 pikeminnow (down from 5,778 the week before) from 681 anglers (down from 687 the week before) for a catch average of 7.7 fish per angler (down from 8.4 the week before) with three tags recovered (up from two the week before).
There was one tagged fish for every 1,738 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 126,928 pikeminnow from 15,927 anglers for a catch average of 8.0 fish per angler with 140 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Ridgefield with 36.9 fish per rod; Bingen with 34.2; Washougal with 22.9; PortCo (Marine Park) with 13.3; and Lyon’s Ferry with 13.1. The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Greenbelt with 97 anglers with 976 fish for 10.4.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.5 for 3,110 anglers with 29,513 fish. The best season’s catch so far has been at Washougal with 14.6 fish per rod; Boyer Park with 13.1; and Lyon’s Ferry with 11.8.
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.