One angler was rewarded with nearly $84,000 for the pikeminnow he caught from the Columbia and Snake rivers from May through September.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program paid out $1.5 million to anglers who turned in the salmon-eating fish during the five-months of the 2017 season.
The top 20 anglers who registered for the program received average rewards of nearly $30,000, according to the Bonneville Power Administration, which pays for the program.
Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead every year. The program is credited by BPA with reducing predation by young salmon and steelhead by up to 40 percent.
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This year anglers turned in more than 191,000 pikeminnow, getting paid $5 to $8 for each. In addition, about 1,000 tagged pikeminnow were worth a reward of $500 each.
For more information, go to www.pikeminnow.org.