Rochester Considering Goose Reduction Program
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Did you know that just one of the Canada geese that call Rochester home can produce as much as 2 ½ pounds of poop every day?
And it’s suspected those same geese and their poop are the reason the city was forced to close Cascade Lake Beach last week.
The city is now considering a plan to reduce the geese population, in part because of the Cascade Lake situation. The Parks and Recreation Dept. is planning to carry out an egg addling (oiling eggs to prevent hatching) program at Cascade Lake and Silver Lake parks next spring.
The city’s population of geese is nowhere near the 30,000 - 40,000 that once lived in the Rochester area but it’s still in the thousands. And they produce a lot of poop in parks and ponds and on trails and golf courses ( 10,000 X 2= 20,000 lbs or 10 tons per day).
The department has compiled this list of poop-related problems:
Droppings are messier and greater frequency when geese are fed “junk food”
Not feasible to clean due to constant volume
Park visitors avoid paved trails and walkways
Playgrounds - small children playing with or ingesting droppings (cryptosporidium)
Rochester became well-known for its geese population in the 1980s and visitors would join locals in flocking to their primary home at Silver Lake to feed them. But the problems they created led to a decision in 2007 to change the shoreline of Silver Lake in hopes of getting them to move on. Feeding stations were also removed and the public was asked to refrain from giving them food. Egg addling was considered but did not take place.
Complaints and problems about the geese and their poop continue and there is concern they will grow if the population increases.
Department Director Paul Widman says next year’s egg addling program will be contingent on his department’s budget. The estimated cost is $8500 per park.
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