The Douglas County Public Utility District (PUD) is continuing its commitment to rid the Columbia River of northern pikeminnow.

The non-indigenous fish is a predatory threat to migrating juvenile salmon and the effort to remove the nuisance species is part of the PUD's licensing requirements with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

PUD spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says the utility has been contracting for pikeminnow removal services with the group Columbia Research for several years now and will continue to employ them to get the job done.

"We've had good results with Columbia Research in the past, so we've contracted with them again for a three-year period. So they'll be looking to continue catching pikeminnows at our Wells Project location and that will remove them so they can't prey upon our precious salmon."

Vibbert adds that the process used to ensnare the pesky fish is fairly straightforward.

"They use a set line method, so they have equipment out in the river which catches them and then they bring them in. So it's not like a trap per say, it's more like constant fishing for pikeminnow."

The PUD will pay Columbia Research between $153,800 and $160,092 annually for the next three years to perform the removal service.

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