On the Umpqua I'd venture to guess that the folks over at the Big K Ranch might raise a fuss if anyone were to dare mess with "their" fishery...
Smallies are there to stay whether we like it or not (same with on the Big C)...because they are there, I'm going to fish for them (hey, I'm probably one of the few who likes the by-catch of NPM and whitefish)...
Bob, yes, clousers are one of my favorites for the Umpqua (and anywhere else for virtually anything) but I always do even better with small white buggers. They probably think it's Shad fry moving out...I don't care, it catches fish, and lots of them.
I'm not sure why the NPM isn't a game fish -- it's aggressive and fights as well as a mountain whitefish... which is a game fish.
I don't eat fish so maybe it tastes like crap so that's why it isn't considered a game fish. Yet they are native as are the trout and whitefish so they serve some purpose... as do the native suckers.
The NPM are so aggressive they'll take bass surface poppers and some of the ones I've caught where in the 20-inch range. They don't look all that much different from a bull trout so they're really are not as ugly as a whitefish or sucker so I don't get it.
I don't get it either. I especially don't get the whole "bounty program" on them while Smallies get a free pass (probably because certain groups fight tooth and nail to protect their great SMB fishery).
Many don't realize this but there are some very powerful bass organizations in the NW. The fact that the bass and other warm water species in the Columbia system were illegally introduced doesn't seem to bother them in the least.
The NPM bounty program is a scam. The owner's of the dams on the Columbia are required by the feds to make an $$ effort for the benefit of the wild salmon and steelhead runs the dams destroyed.
The bounty accomplishes very little for the salmon and steelhead runs but the power companies can point to it and claim they are indeed spending money to help salmon and steelhead runs. Because the fed requirements were not specific, they accept the bounty system on the NPM as meeting the requirements.
They should be modifying the dams but that would be hugely expensive compared to a bounty program for NPM.
Northern Pike Minnows are a native species that provide forage for other game fish, especially Bass and larger Trout. The fact that they are considered a nuisance is because the dams had created the perfect environment for NPM's and Suckers. Killing them off won't do much to help the Trout or Salmon. So I suggest we leave them alone and enjoy the invasive Bass.