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Trout advocates try to hook state money for national trout center

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Budget hawks might think this sounds a little fishy, but anglers and tourism officials say this would be a prize catch for the state: a National Trout Center.

Minnesota lawmakers were mulling a plan at a hearing Thursday that would require $4.5 million in state bonds to design, build and equip a center in the southeastern Minnesota city of Preston devoted to celebrating the game fish, the Associated Press reported.

The plan's chief advocate in the Legislature, Republican Rep. Greg Davids, said the area is known nationally for its pristine trout streams, the AP says.

The current center is housed in a temporary space, and advocates say the permanent home would be a big draw for visitors. Here's a bit more about the plan. You can see a concept design of the proposed new facility on the center's Facebook page.

Preston bills itself as "Minnesota's Trout Capital" and hosts a Trout Days event every May that include a fishing contest.

Roadside America has a photo of Preston's mobile trout statue.

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