Portland, Ore. - Tens of thousands of Northern pikeminnow, rapacious predators of young salmon, were caught this year as part of the 2009 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, which ended Oct. 11. The annual pikeminnow program, sponsored by the Bonneville Power Administration and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, was originally scheduled to run from May 1 through Sept. 27; however, it was extended for two weeks.
All told, 141,645 pikeminnow were caught this season in the Columbia and Snake rivers, down from a typical 160,000 to 200,000.
“This year the total number of pikeminnow caught was lower than in recent years, but we believe it’s due to the program doing what it was designed to do: reduce the number of pikeminnow in the river,” said Russell Porter, senior program manager for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. “But that’s not to say that we should stop fishing for them."