than 3,000 people registered for the Bonneville Power Administration’s 2018
Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program. Combined, they spent more than 23,000
angler days catching and removing 180,271 of the salmon-eating fish.
harvest was down a bit from 2017 due to higher river flows, angler success was
better in 2018. Average catch per angler per day in 2018 was 7.52, up from 7.38
in 2017. All together, anglers were paid about $1.4 million for their efforts.
The program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, has run annually
from May 1 through Sept. 30 for more than 20 years.
on this year’s catches, BPA says it is meeting its annual program goal to
remove 10-20 percent of the predators. Northern pikeminnow anglers caught and
removed about 11.5 percent of fish more than 9 inches long. The larger fish are
the portion of the northern pikeminnow population believed to eat the most
salmon and steelhead smolts.
goal of this program is to reduce the number of northern pikeminnow in the
Columbia and Snake rivers,” said Eric McOmie, BPA program manager. “We’ve seen
a substantial reduction in predation by these fish, which mean young salmon and
steelhead have a better chance of making it to the ocean and eventually
returning to the basin as adults.”
The reward program pays registered
anglers $5 to $8 per fish, nine inches or longer. The more fish an angler
catches during the season, the more their pikeminnow are worth. In 2018, state
fish and wildlife biologists also released more than 1,000 specially tagged
northern pikeminnow, each worth $500.
This year the top 20
fishermen who participated in the program earned an average of nearly $29,000
each. The top angler earned more than $71,000, reeling in more than 8,600 fish
over the five-month season.
pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and
steelhead every year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program have removed
nearly 5 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. Biologists
estimate that the program has reduced predation on young salmon and steelhead
by up to 40 percent from pre-program levels.
BPA-funded program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries
Commission. The 2018 season is scheduled for May 1 through Sept. 30, 2018. For
more information about the program, call 800-858-9015 or visit www.pikeminnow.org
Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a
nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31
federal dams and one nuclear plant to 143 electric utilities, serving millions
of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and
parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than
15,000 circuit miles of lines and 260 substations to 511 transmission customers.
In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest
and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA
also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world.