Pikeminnow Anglers Earn
by Bonneville Power Administration
Portland, Ore. - Anglers participating in a special reward program this year caught more than 155,000 northern pikeminnow, saving an estimated 4 million young salmon and steelhead from getting eaten by the hungry predators.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sports Reward Program pays cash for catching and removing the voracious fish from the Columbia and Snake rivers, reducing their consumption of juvenile salmon. The top angler in 2011 earned $66,478 during the six-month season. The second place fisherman brought in $60,742. Anglers also caught 156 pikeminnow that were specially tagged and worth up to $500 each.
"This program is not only good for salmon, it provides an opportunity to earn income, which is especially important during these tough economic times," said Russell Porter, senior program manager for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. "We appreciate the effort of all those anglers who participated, and we look forward to another successful year in 2012."
Anglers get paid $4 to $8 for northern pikeminnow nine inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia (river mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and Snake (river mouth to Hells Canyon Dam) rivers. The more pikeminnow an angler catches, the more the fish are worth.
The annual program started May 1 and was originally scheduled to close Sept. 30. Program managers extended the season through Oct. 16, 2011. The extension resulted in rewards to anglers for catching more than 7,000 additional northern pikeminnow.
Since 1991, more than 3 million pikeminnow have been removed from the Snake and Columbia rivers through the sport reward program. Last year, anglers caught approximately 174,000 pikeminnow. The harvested fish are processed into fertilizer and poultry food.
The program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration. Get more information at www.pikeminnow.org.
BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners have also saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. For more information, contact us at 503-230-5131 or visit our website at www.bpa.gov.
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