PORTLAND — Area residents can help save young salmon and steelhead and make big money too.
Monday, marked the beginning of this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
State fish and wildlife biologists have specially tagged and released up to 1,000 or more northern pikeminnow into the Columbia and Snake rivers, each worth $500. The program also pays registered anglers $5 to $8 per fish, nine inches or longer. The more fish an angler catches, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Last year the top fisherman in the program earned nearly $120,000 in just five-months of fishing.
Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program, have removed more than 4.6 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program has reduced predation on young salmon and steelhead by nearly 40 percent since it began.
Video courtesy of Bonneville Power Administration
The 2017 Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program began Mon., May 1, and is scheduled to run through at least Aug. 31, 2017. The season may be extended into September based on the availability of funding.
The program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).
For more information about the program call (800) 858-9015, visit www.pikeminnow.org and follow on Facebook.
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest 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, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest.
For more information, visit www.bpa.gov.