Someone stole an unknown number of Atlantic salmon from Cooke Aquaculture's fish farm near Cypress Island just a couple weeks after tens of thousands of fish escaped during a net pen collapse.
According to a report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, written on September 3, suspects cut large nets meant to keep out predators in order to access the platform. Then they cut through the bird net to access the fish.
It was a different area of the fish farm than the one that suffered a catastrophic failure in late August.
There were obvious blood trails leading from the pens to the exit area, according to the report.
Officers believe suspects used a spear or net to steal the fish, then take them to a boat waiting as an escape vehicle.
The report questions whether the motive may have been Cooke's offer to pay $30 for any of the fish that escaped the net pen. The "bounty" may have led someone to steal the fish and then try to sell them as escapees, the report says.
"The number of fish taken is unknown," the report reads, "however, based on the amount of blood on the walkway, the number appears to be significant."