Pikeminnow catches have topped the 100,000-fish mark for the season as the sport reward program yielded 10,082 last week, as well as a new top station.
Anglers turned in the most fish at Boyer Park, on the Snake, taking over from The Dalles station on the Columbia, which had otherwise been most productive every week since the May 1 start of the fishery.
According to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther, 3,065 qualifying pikeminnows came in to Boyer Park from July 3-9, 1,798 to The Dalles and 1,099 to Columbia Point, near the confluence of the two rivers.
Boyer Park also had the highest catch per angler, with 16.0 for the 191 participants, followed by 11.3 at Giles French and 8.9 for The Dalles.
But The Dalles can still account for 41,851 of the 104,999 qualifying pikeminnow that have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season.
And that’s the most there since the 2006 season concluded.
Fifteen specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with six of those turned in at The Dalles, three at Columbia Point, two at Cascade Locks, and one each at Kalama, Gleason, Boyer Park and Greenbelt.
The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.
For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.