Tuesday, May 1, 2018 marks the beginning of this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Oregon state fish and wildlife biologists have specially tagged and released up to 1,000 or more northern pikeminnow into the Columbia and Snake rivers, each worth $500. The program also pays registered anglers $5 to $8 per fish, nine inches or longer. The more fish an angler catches, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Last year the top fisherman in the program earned more than $83,000 in just five-months of fishing.
Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program, have removed more than 4.8 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program has reduced predation from pikeminnow on young salmon and steelhead by approximately 40 percent since it began.
The 2018 Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery begins Tuesday, May 1, and is scheduled to run through Sept 30, 2018.
Northern pikeminnow experts say the best place to fish early in the season maybe near The Dalles. That registration station also showed the highest number of catches last season (44,607 fish).
The program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.
For more information about the program call 800-858-9015 or visit www.pikeminnow.org.