Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishing
PORTLAND - Anglers can earn cash and help save salmon by participating in the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, which kicks off May 14 in the lower Columbia and Snake rivers. The program continues until Sept. 30.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program is designed to reduce the number of northern pikeminnow, a large member of the minnow family that eats millions of young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers each year. Researchers believe reducing the number of these predators can greatly help salmon and steelhead.
Anglers are paid $4 to $8 for northern pikeminnow nine inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and Snake (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam) rivers. The more northern pikeminnow an angler catches, the more the fish are worth. The first 100 are worth $4 each, the next 300 are worth $5 each and, after 400 fish are caught and turned in, they are worth $8 each.
As an added incentive, specially tagged fish are worth $500.
Since 1990, more than 2.9 million northern pikeminnow have been removed from the Snake and Columbia rivers through the sport reward program. Last year, 238,000 northern pikeminnow were caught. As a result of these efforts, northern pikeminnow predation on juvenile salmonids is estimated to have been cut by 25 percent.
The program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, which is directed by the 1980 Pacific Northwest Power Act to fund work to improve salmon runs harmed by federal hydroelectric dams.
Additional information about the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, including information on registration stations, how and where to catch northern pikeminnow, and details about angler clinics, is available by calling 800-858-9015 or visiting www.pikeminnow.org.
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