Canada geese are migratory waterfowl that have been wintering in the Carolinas for centuries. Only recently have they been staying year round. Resident Canada geese populations continue to rise in the pee Dee and grand strand. This is bad for our area water quality.
Catherine Watts, a Water Resources Agent at Clemson Extension says “In the Pee Dee, Florence, the Grand Strand we have had a lot of development and that comes with storm water ponds. And it has really created a perfect environment, a habitat for the resident populations of Canada Geese.”
These storm water ponds provide nice open water with no predators and lots of food. They have all the resources that they need, so why would they go anywhere else.
Sadly, geese that stay year round are ruining our water quality. “So there is 25 times more bacteria in Canada Geese waste than human waste. They produce a lot of waste. One Canada Goose produces one to two pounds of waste every day.” says Watts.
That bacteria is not good for you. If you are swimming at the beach or in the river and there are higher levels of bacteria and you ingest any of the water it can make you sick. This can also lead to beach and oyster bed closings.
The geese populations reproduce very easily, and can double their populations within five years.
The easiest solution to the geese problem is to make the pond unattractive to the geese.
“Plant a shoreline vegetative buffer with native grasses and perennial plants and that will create, the Canada Geese will not want to stop here.” says Watts.
Geese like to be able to walk right into the pond, and tall grass and other plants along the edge of the pond will make them go somewhere else. Other methods of controlling resident geese populations include hunting and egg oiling, but both of these methods require state or federal permits.