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'Extreme excess': Poacher nabbed with 1,600 rainbow trout

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A Clovis, N.M. was nabbed with more than 160 times the legal limit of rainbow trout, caught at a stocked lake. (Courtesy: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish)

A poacher in New Mexico was caught with 1,600 rainbow trout - more than 160 times the limit allowed by state conservation officials.

“Never in my whole career have I encountered this before,” Department of Game and Fish Conservation Officers Col. Robert Griego told FlyFisherman.com. "The extreme excess of this case is aggravating. The department stocks these fish for all sportsmen and women, young and old, with the desire that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the fish.”

Officers nabbed Bounchanh Bounsombath of Clovis, May 12, after getting an anonymous tip. Bounsombath, 62, admitted catching all the fish at Green Acres Lake and Denis Chaves Pond in northwest Clovis, both of which are stocked by the state for sport fishing.

State hatchery workers released 10,000 rainbow trout into the lakes between November and March. Licensed anglers are allowed to keep up to five rainbow trout per day and may possess up to 10 rainbow trout at their home.

Bounsombath faces poaching-related charges and the state department will seek $8,000 in civil restitution to recover the loss.