A public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the council chambers at City Hall to discuss the city’s application that would allow for a goose roundup.
Parks Superintendent Russ Montgomery said the city applied for a permit with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to allow for eggs in nests to be oiled with vegetable oil this spring.
Oiling the eggs results in nest failures with the hope that goose couples will then go elsewhere to nest.
During the April 19 public hearing, a representative from the USDA will discuss goose damage management and options. Being considered is a goose roundup that would result in the USDA testing them for food safety, and if they are safe, collecting as many as possible, euthanizing them and then preparing the meat for distributions to food pantries.
This would take place on Mirror and Shadow lakes.
Each year, Montgomery receives complaints about the goose population in the city. “We’ve been trying to dissuade them from nesting and hanging around South Park because of the nuisance,” he said.
It has created health and cleanup issues on the city’s beach.
“We’ve tried harassing them with pyrotechnic devices. That hasn’t seemed to do very good,” he said. “They just keep coming back and nesting and getting worse.”
Montgomery believes last year was the worst yet.
“It probably started about 10 years ago when they found a safe place to nest,” he said.
Initially, some people might have thought it was a cute to see a goose couple with its little ones, but the number has increased, and there are not predators in the city to harass them or eat the eggs, Montgomery said.
The public hearing will give residents the opportunity to comment on the idea of a goose roundup. If approved, it would take place in mid- to late June.
Montgomery said other communities have taken this measure.
The estimated cost is $3,000 to $5,000. The city has received donations to cover the cost, he said.