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ELGIN — Rick Zollman stands at the edge of a rectangular, concrete pool, peering into the water below. Tens of thousands of juvenile chinook salmon rush toward him, their speckled backs and silver bellies glistening in the afternoon sun.

Zollman waves and smiles at the fish as they leap from the water to greet him, conditioned to expect food when they sense the presence of their loyal caretaker.

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