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News / Sports / Outdoors

Fishing report: Pikeminnow bounty season opens on Columbia

By Columbian news services
Published: May 4, 2024, 5:54am

The 2024 northern pikeminnow bounty season on the Columbia and Snake rivers opens May 1, with decent money to be made.

“Catch cash, save salmon,” says the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program. Pikeminnow are voracious eaters, feeding on young salmon and steelhead in the two rivers in Washington and Oregon.

Last year the top angler in the program earned $107,800 for the fish they caught from May to September. And the runnerup made about $99,000.

But you don’t have to fish all season to earn cash. You just have to sign up each day you want to fish for northern pikeminnow in the reward program and then turn in your catch at one of 22 stations.

The more you catch, the more you earn.

This year the first 25 northern pikeminnow you catch are worth $6.

After that you can earn $8 each until you catch 200. Any fish above that number can be turned in for $10 each.

In addition, specially tagged northern pikeminnow in the program are worth $500 each or $200 if a tag loss is verified.

Daily registration is required, but anglers no longer have to drive to the station where they will turn in their fish to sign up before they start fishing.

They can do it on their phone with the “Pikeminnow Registration” app released last year. But they still must pick the station where they will turn in their pikeminnow when they register.

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The app also has program rules and times stations are open.

Date-stamped registration forms are also available at boxes at stations or from staff there during hours they are open.

The fish need to be turned into the pre-selected station within 24 hours of registration to be eligible for the bounty program. Vouchers need to be mailed in for payment within 30 days of the end of each year’s season.

Northern pikeminnow must be 9 inches or longer to be eligible for a reward.

Fishing report

The latest Columbia River tributary fishery reports. This sample was taken during the April 29 flight count.

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River I-5 Bridge downstream — 64 bank rods kept three steelhead and released two Chinook and one steelhead. 2 boats/4 rods had no catch.

Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Bridge — 11 bank rods kept one steelhead. 1 boat/2 rods released one steelhead.

Kalama River — 28 bank rods kept one Chinook and released one steelhead. 20 boats/49 rods kept 23 Chinook and released one Chinook and one steelhead.

Lewis River — 39 bank rods kept four Chinook and one jack. 17 boats/34 rods kept nine Chinook, one jack and released one steelhead.

Wind River — Six bank rods had no catch. 48 boats/103 rods kept 33 Chinook and released four Chinook.

Drano Lake — 13 bank rods had no catch. 150 boats/445 rods kept 141 Chinook and released three Chinook.

Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge — One bank rod had no catch.

OREGON FISH & WILDLIFE CREEL REPORT

Bonneville pool — One boat/two rods with one walleye kept; one boat/three rods with two legal, two sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released; four Oregon bank rods with three sublegal sturgeon released.

The Dalles pool — Nine boats/35 rods with 58 walleye kept and five released.

John Day pool — Two boats/7 rods with 21 walleye kept and eight released.

Lower Willamette (downstream of St. Johns Bridge including Multnomah Channel) — 1,778 boats/3,932 rods with 375 adult spring chinook kept and 99 released.

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