It's getting tougher for the geese who flock to the beaches in Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
Between changes in the landscaping to dissuade the pesky geese from congregating on the beaches and moving some of them to another state park, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is hoping the risk of goose droppings contaminating the water is significantly less than it has been in years past.
DNR Director of Communications Renee Bungart said resource agents examined the use of landscaping such as rocks, shrubs and fencing to create a less attractive environment for the geese near the waterfront at Public Beach No. 1 and the Grand Glaize Beach. The geese not only add to threat of elevated E.Coli levels, they leave behind an unsightly mess and can be aggressive.
The department has installed a temporary fence to allow vegetation to grow near the beach; removed the grass from several areas near the beach; installed brown landscape rock; altered the mowing plan around the beach area, which consisted of cutting along sidewalks and leaving the remainder to grow natural to discourage the geese.
In addition, the department partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation to relocate 24 geese to another state park with appropriate aquatic and wildlife habitat. The geese are believed to be a contributing factor to the water quality issues that have caused problems for the public beaches in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park for several years. Geese produce large amounts of feces that can wash into the lake.The water quality issues have, at times, forced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to close the beaches to the public.
The goal is to reduce the problems caused by the geese congregating on the beaches and depositing their droppings. The move was spearheaded by DNR in an attempt to resolve ongoing issues at the beaches, in particular the Grand Glaize Public Beach.
In 2012, DNR announced they were going to hunt the geese during molting season when the adults couldn't fly. They had planned to give the meat to food banks for distribution to those in need. DNR later backed down from conducting the goose hunt.
Other efforts to chase the geese away have included letting the grass grow longer around the beach area and posted signs discouraging the public from feeding the geese in an effort to make the environment less attractive.
Coyote decoys were employed as a means of intimidating the geese. Those failed. The snarling decoys that weren't stolen did nothing to cause the geese to flee the beaches. State park rangers have used noise to scare off the geese by firing different “shells” — some make a gun — like sound and others more like a whistle.