Northern Pikeminnow Reward Program Beginsby Herald News Service
Tri-City Herald, May 10, 2008
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program has opened on the Columbia and Snake rivers in an effort to cut the number of the predatory fish.
Hundreds of specially tagged fish will be worth $500 apiece, in hopes of enticing more anglers to catch pikeminnow. The fish eat millions of young salmon and steelhead each year, and researchers say they believe the reward program has helped reduce the number of pikeminnow.
The Bonneville Power Administration funds the reward program, which is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Anglers who register for the reward program will be paid $4 per fish for up to 100 pikeminnow, and the pay bumps to $5 per fish for each one over 101 total. The price goes to $8 per fish for 401 and above.
There are 17 registration stations, and the busiest in 2007 was Boyer Park near the Lower Granite Dam with 32,751 fish, followed by The Dalles Boat Basin with 29,023.
The program pays for some dedicated anglers. One man who caught 5,591 -- including eight tagged -- fish last year earned $47,364, while another was paid $46,400 after catching 5,778 pikeminnow.
In all, anglers caught 191,154 northern pikeminnow in 2007, officials said, reducing predation on juvenile salmon by an estimated 37 percent.
The season runs through Sept. 28. To learn more about the Pikeminnow Program, call (800) 858-9015 or visit www.pikeminnow.org
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