Outdoors

Go fishing, earn money. Cash paid for Columbia and Snake pikeminnow

The pikeminnow season opened May 1 on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Anglers can turn in northern pikeminnow for payments of $5 to $8 each if they have registered for the program.
The pikeminnow season opened May 1 on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Anglers can turn in northern pikeminnow for payments of $5 to $8 each if they have registered for the program. Tri-City Herald File

Pikeminnow season opened May 1, giving anglers a chance to earn cash for every northern pikeminnow they catch in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Last year the top fisherman in the program earned about $71,000 in five months of fishing.

Pikeminnow that are at least 9 inches long are worth $5 to $8 each and specially tagged fish are worth $500 each.

Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead each year.

The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery program of the Bonneville Power Administration has paid anglers to remove nearly 5 million of the predators from the rivers since 1990.

The Dalles is one of the best places to fish early in the season, but registration stations also are set up closer to the Tri-Cities at Columbia Point Park in Richland and the Vernita Bridge Rest Area.

Anglers must register each day before fishing. The season lasts through September.

For the rules of the program, maps and tips on how to fish for pikeminnow, go to pikeminnow.org.

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