Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Aug. 18-24 was 4,821 pikeminnow (down from 5,215 the week before) from 610 anglers (down from 681 the week before) for a catch average of 7.9 fish per angler (up from 7.7 the week before) with five tags recovered (up from three the week before).
There was one tagged fish for every 964 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 131,893 pikeminnow from 15,913 anglers for a catch average of 8.3 fish per angler with 145 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Ridgefield with 52.1 fish per rod for nine anglers with 469 fish; Lyon’s Ferry with 22.4; Greenbelt with 13.8; Giles French with 11.2; and Maryhill with 10.7. The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Greenbelt with 87 anglers with 1,197 fish for 13.8.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.5 for 3,101 anglers with 29,604 fish. The best season’s catch so far has been at Washougal with 14.8 fish per rod; Boyer Park with 13.5; and Lyon’s Ferry with 12.7.
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.