State and federal agencies are extending the season for the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program on the Columbia and Snake rivers until Oct. 11, the Bonneville Power Administration announced on Friday.
The per-fish reward amounts will also be boosted for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Effective Saturday, Sept. 19, the reward for all eligible pikeminnow will increase from the $5-8 range, to $10 per fish — regardless of how many northern pikeminnow an angler catches. The reward for verified specially-tagged pikeminnow will also temporarily increase from $500 to $1,000 per fish.
The program’s goal is to encourage more anglers to participate by harvesting predator-sized pikeminnow this fall, which will help protect more young salmon and steelhead from predation next spring.
Nearly anyone can make money fishing for pikeminnow, and biologists say late summer and early fall can be one of the best times of the year to catch the salmon eaters. In 2019, the program paid out nearly $1.2 million to pikeminnow anglers, with the top fisherman making more than $53,000.
For more details on the season extension and reward increases, go to www.pikeminnow.org.