THOUSANDS of American Rainbow Trout have died after an essential water supply pipe was diverted.

North Yorkshire Police is now appealing for witnesses and information following the incident at The Bolton Abbey Trout Hatchery, near Skipton, which is thought to have happened between 2pm on February 24 and 11am on February 25.

A spokesperson said: "An unknown person has entered the Bolton Abbey Trout Hatchery near to Strid Wood and diverted an essential water supply pipe to a large storage tank containing 20,000 American Rainbow Trout.

"As a result of this, the water has become devoid of oxygen and the fish have died."

Anyone with information should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC 1405 Simon Crossley at Skipton Police Station or email

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12180033109.