FISHING -- The 2010 Northern Pikeminnow bounty program on the Snake and Columbia Rivers paid $1.2 million to anglers who helped to reduce the numbers of a salmon-eating pest called the northern pikeminnow.
One devoted angler cashed in on the deal, earning a record $81,000 during the six-month pikeminnow season, according to the Bonneville Power Administration, which funds the program.
The BPA said just over 173,000 pikeminnows were caught, helping to increase survival rates for young salmon and steelhead.
Fishermen get paid $4 to $8 for northern pikeminnow 9 inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia and Snake rivers. The more pikeminnow caught, the more the program pays. As an added incentive, specially tagged fish are worth $500.
The annual program opened May 1 and was originally scheduled to close Sept. 30 but was extended 10 days this year.