Here is the weekly update on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program happening on the Columbia River.
The harvest total from Sept. 1-7 was 5,677 pikeminnow (up from 5,636 the week before) from 566 anglers (down from 597 the week before) for a catch average of 10.0 fish per angler (up from 9.4 the week before) with five tags recovered (same as five the week before).
There was one tagged fish for every 1,135 pikeminnow caught.
The harvest season total is 143,206 pikeminnow from 17,076 anglers for a catch average of 8.4 fish per angler with 154 tags recovered.
The best catches this past week occurred at Lyon’s Ferry with 28.6 fish per rod for eight anglers with 229 fish; Washougal with 20.4; Greenbelt with 15.0; Giles French with 14.6; and Boyer Park with 12.8. The highest catch/effort this past week occurred at Greenbelt with 85 anglers with 1,273 fish for 15.0.
Highest catch and most effort area for the season so far is The Dalles on the Columbia River with 9.3 for 3,199 anglers with 29,806 fish. The best season’s catch so far has been at Washougal with 14.7 fish per rod; Lyon’s Ferry with 13.3; and Boyer Park with 13.2.
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.