Pikeminnow Sport Fishery Reward Program
Anglers have extra reason to fish for pikeminnow in August: $60,000 worth of special prize money to be awarded in weekly drawings from the names of everyone who catches pikeminnow that week.
The extra reward adds to cash incentives the Bonneville Power Administration already pays for catches of northern pikeminnow, voracious predators of young salmon.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program has encouraged the removal of more than three million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers since 1991, reducing pikeminnow predation on juvenile salmon by an estimated 38 percent.
"To date, anglers have caught more than 75,000 pikeminnow that would be eating young salmon right now," said Russell Porter, senior program manager, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. "We hope these incentives attract more anglers who can have a little fun and help endangered species in the process."
The weekly drawings will award $1,000 prizes to each of 15 lucky anglers who check in pikeminnow during the week and fill out an entry card. More details, including information about registration stations, how and where to catch pikeminnow and angler clinics, are available by calling (800) 858-9015 or visiting www.pikeminnow.org
The reward program pays anglers $4 to $8 for pikeminnow nine inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia (below Priest Rapids Dam) and Snake (as high as Hells Canyon Dam) rivers. The more pikeminnow caught, the more they're worth. The first 100 fish earn $4 each; the next 300 $5 each and each fish beyond 400 is worth $8 each.
As an additional incentive, specially tagged fish are worth $500.
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