Fed Permit Approves ‘Goose Depredation’ Effort
We will be resuming our goose depredation program under a renewed Federal Fish and Wildlife permit. This program will continue through the remainder of this year and well into the summer season of 2020. With the reduced number of geese residing here now, these operations will be less frequent and shorter in duration. The depredation group will be using shotguns again so any firearm reports on the Lake are a result of this sanctioned program.
Our June reduction of geese had a dramatic effect in reducing the E. coli counts at the shorelines. There is overwhelming evidence now that the geese are the primary cause of the high E. coli counts at our beach lines that resulted in the closure of two beaches this summer. Of the 26 samples of both goose anal swabs and fecal matter taken over the past two seasons, over 70% have tested positive for O157:H7. This was evenly spread across both sampling methods. Although we have suspected for some time that geese were capable of importing this potentially dangerous strain, the high percentages were both surprising and troubling.
Our ongoing goose exclusion program will continue as always, which includes dogs in the parks, night lasering, boat and dog ops and egg oiling in the spring. Part of the new Meadow Park improvement plan includes perimeter plantings designed to discourage the geese from using the Beaches and Parks.
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