Personnel will be oiling eggs in May and June

By Gail Peckler-Dziki
Correspondent

The Canada goose is a common sight — and sound — in southeastern Wisconsin year-round. In the spring, one can notice them walking around near any body of fresh water, including roadside swamps.

The birds like the beaches and short grass areas surrounding lakes in this area.

But these beaches and grassy places also happen to be recreational spots for humans. And while people often put trash in the proper receptacles, geese do not. They drop their droppings where they will.

Geese droppings are fecal material and contain numerous bacteria, including harmful E-coli. According to the website goobyegeese.net, while some E-coli strains cause vomiting and diarrhea, other strains can cause more serious illnesses such as gastroenteritis, neonatal meningitis and Crohn’s disease.

These droppings also can contain salmonella, campylobacter, histoplasmosis, coccidia and giardia.

All can cause fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and flu-like symptoms.

A single goose produces between 1 and 1.5 pounds of droppings daily. Enough geese, and the droppings could cover the beach, rendering it unusable.

Municipalities test the water at the beaches for E-coli and other bacteria and often are forced to close them to prevent anyone from swimming in contaminated water.

Many municipalities have developed programs to help control the Canada goose populations in their areas.

Such programs require permits and oversight from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and offer recommendations about how to control the goose population.

Village of Paddock Lake personnel will be out on the water and around the beaches soon to treat goose eggs to prevent them from hatching.

“The best way to control the goose population is to treat the eggs with vegetable oil,” Paddock Lake Village Administrator Tim Popanda said. “That suffocates the eggs, and by the time the nesting pair realize the eggs won’t hatch, it is too late for them to lay another clutch.”

Another avenue is to break the eggs, and that means timing is everything. If the eggs are broken too soon, the pair just lay another clutch. There will be fewer eggs, but they will lay more.

So when Paddock Lake residents see boats moving through the cattail portion of the lake and other places close to shore from May 1 to June 30, they should know that village personnel are spraying canola oil on goose eggs.

While rules have changed for private lands, the village is required to obtain the necessary permits and file the required reports.

 
 

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