Posted May 6, 2008
City to combat excess geese again
By Crystal Lindell of The Northwestern
Oshkosh once again is taking action to combat the excess geese in city parks – and this year they are targeting more land.
He said the goal is not to capture 100 percent of the geese.
"The idea is just to try to control the mess that they make and the hazards that they cause," he said. "It’s really the goose poop that gets really messy ... And there are some geese that are really aggressive."
This year’s permit from the state Department of Natural Resources -- which allows the city to capture and kill up to 325 geese– is more expansive than years past because it will allow the city to collect geese from any city-owned property along the water.
That’s an increase from last year, when the permit only covered Menominee, Rainbow and Abe Rochlin parks, Maas said. In 2005 -- the first year the city did used a catch-and-euthanize program -- the permit only covered Menominee Park.
The city pays the USDA between $2,000 and $3,500 each summer for the capture program. Once the geese are euthanized, they either are given to food pantries or to animal sanctuaries that use them as animal feed, Maas said.
That element of the goose control program will follow what city staff did about two weeks ago, when they covered goose eggs in Millers Bay with vegetable oil to prevent the embryos from developing.
Terri Gehrke, of Oshkosh, said she likes to have picnic lunches with her family at Menominee Park almost every day in the summer – and the goose problem does seem to be getting better.
"It seems like there’s a lot less than there has been in the past years," she said. "We can actually walk and not have to duck from all the birds flying all over us."
Gehrke said the geese don’t bother her, but she does have a hard time finding a spot to sit that’s clean.
Mass said the city’s efforts seem to be working. The first year the city captured geese, they collected 300, which was the maximum allowed by the 2005 permit.
The next year, they captured about 280 and last year the city captured about 200.
However, he said, the 2007 numbers could have been low because the permit limited where the city could catch geese to just the three parks.
Evelyn Haanstad, of Neenah, said she likes to come to park with her grandson, Billy Walsh, 3.
"We were here in the fall and it seemed like (the geese were) an issue," she said. "Right now, it’s kind of early in the season, and we’re finding places to put our blanket, but I know in the fall we have trouble finding a clean spot."
Crystal Lindell: (920)-426-6668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE FROM CANADA GOOSE HALL OF SHAME: KILLING GEESE IS CRUEL AND UNNECESSARY WHEN MANY HUMANE AND EFFECTIVE METHODS EXIST TO DETER GEESE FROM OCCUPYING CERTAIN SPACES.