Washington state wants to pay you to catch pikeminnow

Photo from Bonneville Power Administration

You can help save the Washington salmon population and get paid to do it from the Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program.

The program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, 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 runs from now until Sept. 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).

According to the Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, northern Pikeminnow eat millions of salmon and steelhead juveniles each year in the Columbia and Snake River systems. The goal of the program is to reduce the average size and curtail the number of larger, older fish. Reducing the number of these fish can help get salmon out to sea, helping their populations and therefore, orca populations. 

In 2020, the top-twenty anglers caught an average of 2,351 fish per angler and averaged reward payments of $20,414 each for the 5 month season, the Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program said.  According to the program, the highest-paid angler earned $48,501. 

Find out more information here. 

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