The state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have a new crime fighting tool in the arsenal for opening day of fishing season on Saturday.
There will be specially trained dogs who can sniff out illegally caught fish.
The training was free through Connecticut State Police and DEEP and police were never really able to identify where fishermen were hiding their catch of fish that may be out of season.
Rugar is a 4-year-old lab that is specially trained, like his two other siblings, to sniff our illegal fish such as the black striper.
"What his job is to identify the location of the fish,” said William Logiodice, of DEEP Police. “We're going to use them as an investigative tool."
The DEEP canines are trained to smell specifically for trout, striped bass, and black fish.
Not that there has been a big statewide problem of fishermen catching certain fish out of season, but before they had no real reason to be able to search for a possible violator.
"We're here to protect the resource and there's the occasional illegal selling of the stuff and they have to be licensed and has to be managed in a proper way,” said Capt. Ryan Healy, of DEEP Police.
If the dog finds someone illegally catching fish, the fines could start at $75, and go up.
"When he alerts to a compartment or a certain area then the officer knows he should have that item,” Healy said.
The dog's reward is a toy, not a treat.
Smelling for fish is not the only thing the dogs are trained to do. They can do search and recovery.
"I'd rather see them in compliance buy if we come across a bad actor then we'll deal with it the best way we know how,” Healy said.
The law said anyone on the state border coming ashore after hauling in fish from another state must abide by the rules of the state where they are put ashore.
Dogs will be out fishing first thing at dawn on Saturday.
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