Pikeminnow anglers will have even more incentive to fish for the predators in August.
The Bonneville Power Administration is adding $60,000 in special prize money that will be distributed in weekly drawings from the names of every angler who catches a northern pikeminnow that week, according to BPA.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program has helped remove more than 3 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers since 1991 and cut pikeminnow predation on juvenile salmon by 38 percent, according to BPA.
The weekly drawings will award $1,000 prizes to each of 15 anglers who check in pikeminnow during the week and fill out an entry card.
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More details, including information about registration stations, how and where to catch pikeminnow and angler clinics, are available by calling (800) 858-9015 or visiting www.pikeminnow.org.
Through the reward program, anglers are paid $4 to $8 for pikeminnow nine inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia (below Priest Rapids Dam) and Snake (as high as Hells Canyon Dam) rivers.
The first 100 fish earn $4 each; the next 300 $5 each and each fish beyond 400 is worth $8 each.
Specially tagged fish are worth $500.
C.A.S.T. for Kids event planned at Potholes
The Columbia Basin Project's 18th Annual C.A.S.T. for Kids event is Aug. 8 at Potholes Reservoir south of Moses Lake.
C.A.S.T., which stands for Catch a Special Thrill, offers children with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing. Participants and volunteers will gather at Potholes State Park, off Highway 262. Washington State Parks manages the adjacent campground and day-use facility which offer easy access to Potholes Reservoir.
The children will range in age from 7-16 years old. Each participant will receive fishing gear, a T-shirt, and a hat.
For information about the Aug. 8 event, contact Margaret Schoneman at Reclamation's Ephrata office (509) 754-0211, or Jan Schrader at Reclamation's Grand Coulee Power Office (509) 633-9584.
In the unlikely event of rain, the C.A.S.T. event will be canceled.