One angler completed the 2023 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program with loads of dough of their checking account. In keeping with catch knowledge, the highest angler in this system caught and eliminated 10,127 pikeminnow, incomes $101,520 in bounties. The subsequent greatest angler almost reached six figures, incomes $98,510 for 9,786 fish.
The Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program is a yearly conservation bounty program. It operates on the decrease Columbia River and is funded by the Bonneville Energy Administration (BPA). This system runs every summer time from Could 1 to September 30 and doles out important money to a whole lot of anglers for eradicating pikeminnow—a species identified to prey on salmon and steelhead smolt. Critics of this system say eradicating the native fish species obfuscates the actual downside—the BPA’s dams alongside the Decrease Snake River.
No matter the place you stand on the problem, this system is hands-down among the finest methods to earn cash by catching an undesirable fish species. This yr, this system supplied anglers $6 a fish for the primary 25 qualifying (9-inch-plus) fish of the season. From 25 to 200, every fish paid $8 apiece, and 200-plus had been $10 every. Specifically tagged fish gave anglers an opportunity at $200 to $500 in reward cash.
This yr’s bounties had been the identical as in 2022, when the BPA raised its rewards to spur participation in this system. The highest angler in 2023 earned the second-most ever of an angler in this system, lagging behind an unnamed angler who made $119,341 in 2016 for catching a 14,019 pikeminnow. The BPA doesn’t launch the identities of the anglers that take part in its program every year.
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In complete, 11,954 anglers creeled 156,505 pikeminnows in 2023. “The harvest was very near the 32-year common of 160,000 and energy elevated by greater than 10 % [from 2022],” program supervisor Eric Winther informed NW Sportsman. “All in all, [it was] a extremely stable yr punctuated by some exceptionally good fishing throughout a number of home windows of alternative in a number of areas.”