NESPELEM – The Northern Pike Reward Program offered by the Colville Confederated Tribes will pay anglers $10 for every pike head turned in at a designated drop off location.
Anglers can drop off their pike heads at the Noisy Waters Gas Station, Kettle Falls boat launch, Hunters boat launch, Fort Spokane boat launch, or at the Inchelium Fish and Wildlife office.
In 2021, anglers were paid $1,860 for the pike heads that were turned in and in 2020, just over $11,000 was paid out. The reward program has paid out almost $34,000 since the program began in 2017.
“The co-managers of Lake Roosevelt, Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT), the Spokane Tribe of Indians (STI), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) mutually agree that northern pike pose a significant threat to the Lake Roosevelt fishery and salmon fisheries in the Columbia River through competition, predation and the introduction of diseases,” said Holly McLellan, Aquatic Invasive Species manager for the CCT.
“The co-managers are particularly concerned with the negative impacts northern pike pose to tribal and state resources,” she said. “The CCT currently invests $6.1 million, the STI invests $3.1 million, and WDFW invests $560,000 annually into protecting and enhancing the fish of Lake Roosevelt through hatchery programs, native fish conservation programs for redband trout, white sturgeon and burbot, as well as habitat restoration projects through 15 Bonneville Power Administration sponsored projects (https://www.cbfish.org). Northern pike compromise the $9.8 million annual investment into the Lake Roosevelt fishery by the tribes and the state.”
Northern pike are found in slow-moving streams and in shallow, weedy places in lakes and reservoirs. They are an ambush predator and can lie perfectly still for long periods and attack prey with remarkable speed. They eat frogs, insects, birds, trout, steelhead and salmon.
Anglers participating in the program must adhere to the following:
• All anglers must be 17 years of age or older to participate in the program.
• Anglers must completely fill out the tag information at the designated drop off area. Fish heads must be placed in a freezer bag with the label and dropped into the freezer or brought to the Inchelium Fish and Wildlife office.
• Fish heads must be in good condition and clearly identifiable. Unidentifiable heads will not be accepted or awarded.
• Fish must be caught in the main stem Columbia River from Wells Dam upstream to the Canadian border, the Spokane River upstream to Little Falls, the Kettle River, or the Okanogan River.
• There are no size restrictions on Northern Pike that are eligible for the reward.
• Anglers must adhere to all applicable state/tribal fishing regulations for the area in which you fish. Contact your local state or tribal agency for license requirements and current fishing regulations.
• Please allow two to three weeks to receive your reward.
For more information about the Northern Pike Reward Program, go to https://www.cct-fnw.com/northern-pike.