PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon and Washington anglers could be reeling in more cash this year after the Bonneville Power Administration announced it will increase the bounty for northern pikeminnow. 

Fishers who catch northern pikeminnow on the Columbia and Snake rivers will now earn $6 each for their first 25 fish, $8 each for catching 26-200 fish and $10 each when an angler catches more than 201 pikeminnows. 

These rates are an increase from the previous rewards of $5, $6, and $8 and it is the first reward increase since 2015. 

A pikeminnow must be at least 9 inches long to be eligible for a reward. State fish and wildlife biologists release specially tagged northern pikeminnow into the Columbia and Snake rivers that are each worth $200 to $500. 

In 2021, the top angler caught 7,185 fish and earned a bounty of $61,409. 

In 2022, the northern pikeminnow sport reward season runs May 1 – September 30.  

State wildlife officials are encouraging anglers to catch and remove northern pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers because they consume millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Anglers have been paid through the program since 1990 and have removed nearly 5 million pikeminnow from the two rivers. The program has reduced predation from pikeminnow on young salmon and steelhead by approximately 40% since it began. 

The program is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in cooperation with the Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife. 

The Bonneville Power Administration says online registration and an app for the pikeminnow sport reward are expected to debut early in the 2022 season. Officials expect these tools will make it more convenient for people to participate. 

Currently, people need to drive to a station and fill out paperwork each day before they head out to fish. Registering online or through the app will allow them to go directly to the river and spend more time fishing. 

Anglers must register each day they fish. To find out more about the program, visit pikeminnow.org