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The Lake News Online
  • My view: More on those pesky geese

  • And we thought we’re the only ones with a goose problem.
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  • And we thought we’re the only ones with a goose problem.
    With all of the focus on E. coli issues at our public beaches the last few years, unofficially blamed on the runoff of goose poop, we’re all a bit apprehensive about the Memorial Day weekend less than three weeks away. State Rep. Rocky Miller is steering a bill through the Missouri Legislature that would change the method of measuring E. coli levels. The bill is to our collective benefit.
    Regardless of the bill’s outcome, it’s interesting to note that the Missouri Department of Conservation recognizes that those sometimes-cute, sometimes-irascible, mostly annoying birds really are a problem. In fact, the agency has produced a 26-page booklet entitled “Controlling Conflicts with Urban Canada Geese in Missouri.”
    The inside front page of the booklet has a picture that puts the issue of Canada geese into perspective: Warning: Geese May Attack.
    Anyone who has been to PB2 (Grand Glaize Beach) at the State Park off Osage Beach Parkway has witnessed the pesky critters as they waddle along the beach leaving behind their signature poop. Whether or not their droppings have caused the problem at both PB1 and PBW2 is a matter of conjecture.
    According to the DNR booklet, a female Canada goose lays one egg every 1.5 days until she has a full clutch of 5-6 eggs. The adult geese lead their young to a lake of pond within 24 hours of hatching.
    Yeah, we know that.
    For statistical purposes, if there are 10 female geese at PB2, that’s 50-60 eggs hatched in a 30-day period. Within one month, they are dirtying not only the beach but the water.
    Yes, yes, I know we are invading their space. I know some of you folks think they’re cute. I know the PETA wackos believe all of God’s creatures should be protected. They’ve never tip-toed through the mine fields of goose droppings at public beaches or public parks.
    The DNR booklet also points out these “problems”:
    •Accumulation of droppings on lawns, ball fields, golf courses and sidewalks.
    •Erosion on lawns and golf greens when geese overgraze the area
    •Personal injuries from attacks when geese defend their nests
    •Threats to aviation safety and aircraft
    •Destruction of newly sprouted field crops.
    But beware, anyone who seeks to eradicate the geese. They are protected by state and federal laws because they are considered migratory birds.
    Uh, yeah, they migrate from one beach to another, from one yard to another, from one dock to another leaving behind a myriad of problems. According to the DNR, an adult Canada goose produces up to ¼ pound of feces a day. The accumulation of feces may cause increased levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the water, which could result in the closing of public swimming areas.
    Page 2 of 2 - No kidding.
    For the geese students among you, here are different ways to reduce goose damage:
    •Habitat modification
    •Exclusion (fencing, rocks, vegetation)
    •Harassment
    •Chemical repellents
    •Lethal control
    And for those of you wanting to take a more direct approach, consider these methods that are not recommended:
    •Plastic scare devices (owls, snakes foxes)
    •Capture & relocation
    •Toxicants
    •Swans.
    The bottom line ladies and gents: We’re stuck with the buggers short of breaking the law or scaring women and children.

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