Pikeminnow catches dipped slightly last week from 2017’s top period so far on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, with 10,804 qualifying fish brought in for the sport reward program.
The Dalles station recorded the highest number overall, with 4,818 checked, a bit down from the previous week, but this year’s catch to date of 27,674 there has already surpassed three of the last six complete seasons.
Columbia Point Park in Tri-Cities took in 1,191 pikeminnow and Bingen 858.
Highest catch per registered angler was at Bingen, where 56 fishermen brought in 858 pikeminnow, an average of 15.3 fish each.
Other stations seeing relatively high catch per angler include The Dalles (11.9), Washougal (9.9) and Cascade Locks (9.1).
Seventeen specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with six of those turned in at Columbia Point Park, four at The Dalles, two at Cathlamet and one each at Washougal, Beacon Rock and Bingen.
Since the 2017 season started May 1, 58,245 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake, 58,359 overall.
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, and if you’re interested in putting your angling skills to work, check out the June 22 seminar coming to Longview and put on by program leader Eric Winther.