OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — With fishing season starting Saturday, EnCon police now have a new tool to catch folks who try to break the rules. Ruger is one of four search and rescue dogs on DEEP’s Environmental Conservation Police force. He and two others have undergone special training to sniff out fish, which may be hidden by those trying catch more than they’re allowed.
At the DEEP offices in Old Lyme, Ruger and Hunter, both Labrador mixes from the same litter, demonstrated what they can now do. They found fish hidden in a boat and buried in sand.
“Our training scenarios have been set up to be those that we’ve seen before,” said Captain Ryan Healy. “People hiding fish in certain hidden locations in boats, on the shoreline, or on the beaches, those types of things.”
Captain Healy says over-fishing damages the resources meant for many to enjoy. There are limits on the number of inland trout that can be caught. There are also limits on marine fisheries, and those limits change.
“For example, Striped Bass went from two fish to one fish this year, and they’re a marketing fish, they’re very commercial value,” said Capt. Healy. “People will take them and sell them, so they will take more than their one and that’s not good for the resource.”
All together there are three dogs with this special training. Two along the shoreline, and one up north.
For more of Connecticut’s fishing regulations, click here.