PORTLAND, Ore. — The Bonneville Power Administration has now opened this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery in the Columbia and Snake rivers. It's scheduled to run through Sept. 30.
The program pays registered anglers $5 to $8 for each pikeminnow that is at least 9 inches long. The more fish an angler catches, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Some fish have an even bigger payout. State fish and wildlife biologists have released up to 1,000 specially tagged northern pikeminnow into the Columbia and Snake rivers, each worth $500. Last year, the top fisherman in the program earned more than $71,000 in just five months of fishing.
Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program have removed nearly 5 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program has reduced predation from pikeminnow on young salmon and steelhead by approximately 40% since it began.
The fishery website, pikeminnow.org, has details on how to register for the program and applicable state fishing regulations. Anglers will also find resources on the site to help boost their fishing game including maps, how-to videos and free fishing clinics.
For more information, call 1-800-858-9015 or go to pikeminnow.org.