Eau Claire looks to control the local goose population - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire looks to control the local goose population


Eau Claire (WQOW)- While most people enjoy flocking to the beaches during the summer, one flock is enjoying it too much.  The city of Eau Claire is taking action on the local goose population.

On Tuesday Eau Claire City Council will vote on applying for a DNR grant that would help control the local goose population.  The city said that instead of migrating, the birds have made a lot of local lakes their permanent home and it's causing beaches to frequently test high for bacteria levels during the summer, making them unsafe.

The city said a big reason for that is people continue to feed the geese, so now they're here to stay.

"It's the local population that have become acclimated and imprinted on Eau Claire, and they just don't leave.  They have an ample food supply and open water, and they will stay here and not migrate to points further south.  Once they are established they're comfortable in their habitat, they will stay, and their young will stay, and their young will stay, so these populations can tend to sort of balloon over a short period of time," said Todd Chwala with the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department.

There's a couple different tactics the city could use.  One is to add new signs encouraging people not to geed the geese.  Another would be to add vegetation barriers near the public areas, or to oil the eggs so they don't hatch.  If none of those work the city would look at rounding up the birds to be euthanized and used as raptor food at wildlife rehabilitation centers.  

If the grant application is approved by city council, and then again by the DNR, the city would start its efforts next spring.

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