Pikeminnow Bounty Program Extended
by Bill Monroe
Officials said the 30-year-old bounty typically removes more than 150,000 pikeminnows from the path of migrating fish.
Concerned about a drop in this year’s northern pikeminnow catch, state and federal agencies have extended the 2020 season to Oct. 11 and raised the ante for each fish turned in from the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Effective immediately through Oct. 11, each fish longer than 9 inches will be worth a $10 bill, regardless of how many fish the angler has already submitted. And the $500 reward for a tagged fish has been doubled, to $1,000.
Pikeminnows are native fish that feast on young salmon and steelhead during the spring out-migration. In a free-flowing river, their range and numbers are relatively limited.
However, dams and reservoirs, coupled with the confusion of migrating fish at the base of the dams, have created ideal habitat and food for pikeminnows.
Officials said the 30-year-old bounty (“sport-reward”) typically removes more than 150,000 pikeminnows from the path of migrating fish, but with COVID-19 concerns, the number is below 90,000.
Managers said the best time of year to fish for pikeminnows is early fall.
Details on the extension and how and where to fish, along with required checkstations, can be found online at pikeminnow.org.
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