Substantial reward increases for the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery make it potentially more profitable for anglers participating in the 2022 season.
Opening day for the northern pikeminnow sport reward season is Sunday and this year anglers will earn $6, $8 or $10 — up from $5, $6 and $8 — for each pikeminnow that is at least nine inches long.
It’s the first reward increase since 2015. The more fish caught, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Specially tagged northern pikeminnow released by state fish and wildlife biologists into the Columbia and Snake rivers are each worth $200 to $500.
In addition to increasing reward amounts, program managers are making it easier to participate. Online registration and an app are expected to debut early in the 2022 season.
“These tools will make it more convenient for people to participate, particularly those who don’t live near a pikeminnow registration station,” said Eric Winther, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia River Predator Control Program project leader. “Currently, people have to drive to a station and fill out paperwork before heading out to fish. Registering online or through the app means they can go directly to the river, spend more time fishing and make one trip to the station to turn in their catch.”
Eighteen full-time stations will operate during the five-month season, with two to four additional satellite stations available later in the season.
These satellite stations offer anglers additional pikeminnow harvest opportunities in areas with good fishing during short windows of time. Interested anglers are encouraged to get the most up-to-date information on the program website, www.pikeminnow.org, before heading out.
For more information about the 2022 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery visit www.pikeminnow.org, or call 800-858-9015.
COLUMBIA RIVER TRIBUTARIES
Cowlitz River from Interstate 5 Bridge downstream — 139 bank rods kept four Chinook and released one steelheadl; 9 boats/29 rods kept four Chinook.
Cowlitz River above Interstate 5 Bridge — 32 bank rods kept two steelhead and released one Chinook; 10 boats/34 rods kept five Chinook and two jacks.
Kalama River — 51 bank rods had no catch; 21 boats/47 rods kept seven Chinook and released two steelhead.
Lewis River — 76 bank rods kept two Chinook one one jack; 32 boats/64 rods kept 13 Chinook, two jacks and released three Chinook and one steelhead.
Wind River — Eight bank rods had no catch; 104 boats/290 rods kept 67 Chinook and released four Chinook.
Drano Lake — 16 bank rods had no catch; 142 boats/330 rods kept 54 Chinook and released one Chinook.