Portland, Ore. - Anglers hooked large payoffs during this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, raking in over $1.2 million by catching 173,112 of the voracious salmon eaters.
The program provides cash for catching pikeminnow, a large member of the minnow family, in the Columbia and Snake rivers. These predators chow down on millions of young salmon and steelhead every year. Research shows that reducing the number of pikeminnow helps salmon and steelhead survival.
One angler earned $81,366 during the six-month season, breaking the individual record for catching specially tagged fish that are worth up to $500. He hooked 13 tagged fish and earned $6,500 in the process.
“This program provides an opportunity to earn income, which is especially important during these tough economic times, and it’s good for salmon,” 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 2011.”