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Fish out of water

By Shan Li

California started giving a ride to millions of young Chinook salmon after the state’s record-breaking drought left rivers too dry for them to migrate on their own.

This year state and federal officials plan to truck up to 30 million fish from five hatcheries in the Central Valley to rivers and streams near the Pacific Ocean, an effort intended to save the state’s fishing industry in coming years.

The salmon are a big part of California’s $1.5-billion commercial and recreational fishing industry, according to the Nature Conservancy. The salmon smolts — juvenile fish just a few inches long — should be mature enough to harvest starting around 2016.

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