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Fishy Motives: Thief Nabs Thousands Of Trout From Hatchery

FRESNO (AP) — Somewhere in California, someone has a truck load of stolen merchandise that probably is starting to stink.

Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game on Monday were investigating what they believe to be the first large-scale theft from a state fish hatchery after as many as a thousand trophy-sized trout were taken from a facility near Fresno.

Workers at the San Joaquin State Fish Hatchery on Sunday found the gate there pried open and blood covering the floors. Department spokesman Patrick Foy says the trout were three years old and weighed three pounds each.

The trout were part of a program paid for by fishing license fees to stock lakes for fishing enthusiasts.

Now, wardens are scouring California fish markets for signs of them. Trout sells for up to $7 a pound.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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