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Friday, May 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Federal program pays $1.4 million to pikeminnow anglers

At the Cle Elum Fish Hatchery, Northern Pikeminnows, formerly known as Squaw Fish, wait for a meal of young salmon as part of an experiment on how hatchery fish adapt to predators. (Spokesman-Review)
At the Cle Elum Fish Hatchery, Northern Pikeminnows, formerly known as Squaw Fish, wait for a meal of young salmon as part of an experiment on how hatchery fish adapt to predators. (Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Federal officials say a program that pays anglers to catch a predator that eats young salmon and steelhead resulted in more than 180,000 northern pikeminnows being caught and killed in the Columbia and Snake rivers this year.

The Bonneville Power Administration in a news release Friday says the anglers were paid $1.4 million for catching northern pikeminnows from May 1 through Sept. 30.

The reward program is funded by the agency and is intended to remove the predatory pikeminnow that eats young salmon and steelhead headed for the ocean.

The agency says anglers removed 11.5 percent of the pikeminnow population measuring 9 inches or longer.

The top angler earned about $71,000 after catching 8,600 fish during the five-month season.

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