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Ecology and salmon related articles

Pikeminnow Bounties Begin

by Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, May 13, 2004

The northern pikeminnow bounty season began on a lucrative note in the Columbia River Gorge last week, even with high fuel prices making it cost more to get there.

Anglers averaged $48 to $50 apiece in catching pikeminnows from Bonneville to John Day dams through Sunday. Bonneville Power Administration pays anglers $4 to $6 for each pikeminnow longer than 9 inches, depending upon their success.

Prolific anglers get more money for each fish, from $4 for their first 100 to $5 from 101 to 400 and $6 for everything they catch beyond 400. With catch numbers ranging from 1,142 (Bonneville) to 5,400 (The Dalles), some anglers already might have pushed into the $4 range.

Pikeminnows, formerly called squawfish, feed voraciously on baby salmon heading to sea from Columbia Basin tributaries.

During spring runoff, pikeminnows are especially thick below dams, lurking at the edges of eddies to pick off dazed salmon from the current.

Anglers use a variety of baits from both boats and shoreline, including spinners, wobbling plugs and colored plastic grubs, worms and twisting-tail jigs impaled on weighted hooks.

Bounty anglers must check in at a station before fishing and check out at the same station.

Bounty rules, station locations and fishing tips are found on the Web at

Take some home? A controversial proposal to allow trout anglers two fish per day from streams on the north Oregon Coast next year will get an airing at 7 p.m. May 20 in a public meeting at the Oregon Department of Forestry office in Tillamook.

Trout fishing in Nestucca, Trask, Wilson, Kilchis, Miami, and Nehalem rivers is catch-and-release only for cutthroat trout during the general trout season, but biologists say the trout have recovered enough to allow limited sportfishing for those who want to keep two a day.

Many anglers say there aren't enough trout yet to lift the restriction.

Kings for Kids: Guides and boatmen donated time, and 33 teams of anglers raised about $14,000 in the Kings for Kids fishing event Friday.

The money will send more than 50 abused, neglected and foster children to a weeklong "Royal Family Kids' Camp" near Canby this summer.

Fishing was slow on the Willamette, with only a half-dozen salmon turned in from the river.

The event was won by Dave Maroon of Gresham, Tom Guyette of Wilsonville and Lynn Buerer of Beaverton, who bank fished on the Sandy River above Dodge Park and caught four hatchery salmon, mostly with bait and bobbers.

"If you want salmon right now, the Sandy's the place to be," Maroon said.

Bill Monroe
Pikeminnow Bounties Begin
The Oregonian, May 13, 2004

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