Tanner’s partner MNR officer Colin Cotnam is checking fishing licences. And although Tanner can’t check for licences, he can detect fish that anglers might be trying to hide from the MNR.
“I have never seen a fish-sniffing dog,” says Mike Weimer.
But that’s what Tanner has been trained to do.
“If there’s anything hidden, closed season, or over limits, he’ll dig it out for us,” says Cotnam. “He can sniff them out.”
Tanner is part of the MNR canine services unit that has been detecting and catching poachers since 1990.
“He’s an aggressive indicator,” Cotnam says. “So he’ll scratch at them, eat them or try to pull them out. He’s got a variety of odours in his memory right now. For fish he’s got lake trout, brook trout, walleye, whitefish and bass.”
Tanner has been working with the MNR for six years and has helped sniff out thousands of illegal fish. His reward for a good job? His chew toy.