May 23, 2024 - News

1 very good (DNR) doggo to go

black dog in front of a boat

Bolt poses in front of a boat. Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

Meet Bolt, one of three four-legged members of the Department of Natural Resources zebra mussel detection squad.

Why it matters: The fingernail-sized mollusks can do serious damage to lakes, pipes, bridges, and docks.

  • Removing them once they populate can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.

State of the problem: DNR says zebra mussels have already been found in more than 300 bodies of water here.

How Bolt helps: Bolt and his furry colleagues on the K9 unit have been trained to sniff out the mussels on boats before they launch into an uncontaminated body of water.

  • That way, boat owners can clean and drain the invasive species from their vessels before it's too late.

Between the lines: The dogs, which cost the state about $10,000 a year a piece, also assist in search-and-rescue operations.

  • Two others also help DNR catch poachers and track down other fishing and hunting violations.

What we're watching: DNR is working on adding three more canines to the unit, Lt. Phil Mohs told reporters last week.

Watch: Bolt in action during last week's demo at Lake Phalen.

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