The Iola Village Board has agreed to fund a goose roundup.
The motion was presented at the board’s May 11 meeting by Public Property & Streets Committee Chair David Harper.
The board approved, by a 3-2 vote, financing a roundup at a cost of up to $5,000. Trustees voting against the motion were Kathy Briquelet and Jim Rasmussen.
The roundup is one of the Canada geese control methods recommended by the U.S. Wildlife Service, a division of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Other methods of controlling the protected bird include encouraging participation in goose hunts, making the environment less attractive to geese and oiling eggs.
All in attendance at the May 11 meeting had no objection to oiling eggs, which is a humane method of controlling the population. Using corn oil on eggs prevents the eggs from hatching, yet the geese continue to sit on the eggs and, therefore, do not produce more eggs.
Two eggs were successfully oiled this year, according to John Bertelson of the Lake Iola Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District. He reported that the goslings have already hatched.
“We need to start earlier next year,” he said.
There were objections to the Wildlife Service roundup, which requires that all the gathered geese be euthanized.
“I don’t think the geese population is that bad, and I don’t agree to killing any geese,” said Briquelet.
Harper agreed that the Canada geese population is not as high as it was before the drawdown of Lake Iola.
“Over the years, we have had a large number of complaints because people can’t even use the peninsula (due to accumulation of goose feces),” Harper said. “Right now we have a wonderful window of opportunity with the population not being very high. We need to tackle it while it’s a small problem.”
“You can’t hunt them (in the village) and there are no predators,” said Village Trustee Richard Anderson. “Stepping in is the next thing for the village to do.”
“If we’re going to get on top of this, we need to do it now,” agreed Village Trustee Terry Murphy.
Devin Gillespie, a member of the audience, suggested that the Lake District ask for volunteers to clean the area around Lake Iola.
Harper explained that the amount of feces accumulates too rapidly for a cleanup to be a feasible solution.
Village Board President Joel Edler expressed concern that a roundup may not be necessary this year. He suggested that the Lake District try to control the goose population with egg oiling.
“A roundup is just one tool to control the goose population,” Bertelson said. “It doesn’t have to be the only tool.”
“The concern now is that the Lake District doesn’t have the funds to do a roundup this year,” he said.
Briquelet suggested that the Lake District wait for a different year to do a roundup.
Gillespie suggested the geese be relocated.
“They will come back,” Bertelson said.
The geese population will be assessed and discussed at the Lake District’s next meeting. Bertelson said the Lake District still needs to authorize a roundup in order for it to be done this year.