MOSSYROCK, WASH. - Vandals illegally released an estimated 100,000 Chinook salmon from a netted rearing pen on Mayfield Lake in Washington state.

Lewis County investigators said several nylon straps holding up the net had been cut sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The state raises salmon in 20 netted pens on Mayfield Lake. The others were not damaged.

The state planned on transporting all of the fish in trucks later this week down the Cowlitz River. Using trucks prevents the salmon from traversing through the more dangerous and stressful Mayfield Dam, said Fish & Wildlife Hatchery Operations Manager Sam Gibbons.

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