Washington State Will Pay You To Catch Fish

A person holding a fish

It’s safe to say that any true fisherman would fish for free everyday for the rest of their life, no questions asked.

But, what if there was an opportunity to turn those casts into dollars? It would certainly be something worth listening to.

The Yamika Herald says that the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife has a Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program.

The program aims to create incentive to target Northern Pikeminnow in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Northern Pikeminnow eat millions of Steelhead and Salmon every year, in an effort to help the Salmon populations they are trying to lower the predator’s population.

Northern Pikeminnow are not a typically targeted sport fish.

Rewards range from $5 to $8 per fish caught over 9 inches. The more fish you bring in, the more they pay. Some fish that are tagged can be worth up to $500 each.

Yes, you can go fish for the day with the potential of not only having your gas and beer paid for but also having some money left over when its all said and done.

Not only can you make money, but you could also help out the vulnerable salmon populations. This is the biggest win-win in fishing ever.

On pikeminnow.org the payouts are listed and 2021’s highest earner brought home $61,209. The programs coordinator Eric Winther summed it up perfectly.

“Not bad for five months of fishing,”

Winther added, making the situation more desirable.

“They are not really hard to catch, but the hardest thing is to find them,”

A fish that’s not that hard to catch has the potential to earn $61,000 in 5 months of fishing?

Where can we sign up? All the rules are listed on their website, it’s as simple as registering and bringing in your caught fish.

The other top earners ranged from $22,000 to $36,000.

It seems like it’s worth trying out. It creates the potential to turn relaxing weekends on the river with your buddies into a legitimate side hustle.

The best part is that they are increasing the incentive, if you weren’t already sold on the idea. Since the number of fish caught decreased from 2020 to 2021, they want to ensure people are still running to the rivers to catch them.

Next season the plan is to bump up the rewards to a base of $6 dollars per fish, for the first 25 Northern Pikeminnow. Follow by $8 for fish 26-200 and $10 for every fish over number 200.

I didn’t need an excuse to fish in the first place, but it doesn’t hurt to have one.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock