Catch a Pikeminnow and Reel in Some Cash

The Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, pays anglers for each northern pikeminnow that they catch in the Columbia River.

You can help save salmon and get paid to do it by going fishing! The pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, pays anglers for each northern pikeminnow that they catch that is nine inches or larger. Rewards range from $5 to $8 per fish, and special tagged fish are worth $500.

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).

Northern pikeminnow eat millions of salmon and steelhead juveniles each year in the Columbia and Snake River systems. The goal of the program is not to eliminate northern pikeminnow, but rather to reduce the average size and curtail the number of larger, older fish. Reducing the number of these predators can greatly help the salmon and steelhead juveniles making it out to sea.

In 2021, pikeminnow anglers made 11,543 angler trips and redeemed 89,612 fish. The highest paid angler earned $61,409. BPA funds the program to partially mitigate for the impact of the federal Columbia River hydroelectric system on salmon. Results indicate the program is successful. Since 1990, nearly 5 million northern pikeminnow have been removed by the Sport Reward Fishery. Predation on juvenile salmonids by northern pikeminnow has been reduced by up to 40 percent compared to levels of predation before the program began.

If you have additional questions, please get in touch with:

Allan Martin
Project Manager
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
503-595-3100
dmartin@psmfc.org

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