Board votes to spend up to $5,000
By Jane Myhra
A goose roundup was approved at the June 6 annual meeting of the Lake Iola Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District.
A handful of people voiced objections to the idea of rounding up the Canadian geese in the Lake Iola area.
After much discussion, there was a call for an advisory vote. The result was 25 to 5 in favor.
The favorable vote does not mean the geese will be rounded up this year, according to Terry Murphy, a member of the Lake District’s board.
“We will do something about the geese,” Murphy said. “The question is will it be next year or this year?”
Because the geese are a protected species, a roundup may only be done under the guidance of the U.S. Wildlife Service.
The Lake District’s board has a few days to decide if they want to do a roundup this year. The determining factor is the goose population.
The wildlife experts suggest at least 40 geese should be present in order for a cost-effective roundup. The most recent estimate of Iola’s goose population is 85.
“I have only seen around 25 at one time,” said board member Mike Devine. “They are not always easy to find.”
The cost of a roundup is about $3,500. The Iola Village Board has agreed to fund up to $5,000 for the procedure, which includes rounding up as many geese as possible, plus testing and processing of the meat for animal or human consumption.
“I personally would like not to do (the roundup),” said Joan McAuliffe, of Iola. “I would be delighted to have them on my property.”
The roundup will not eliminate all of the geese, according to newly-appointed board member Lyle Nauman.
Although he is new to the Iola community, Nauman is an expert on wildlife. Prior to retirement, he taught wildlife management for 25 years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“We will never get rid of the geese. There will always be geese here because they come back to where they were hatched,” he said. “It’s an issue of how many do you want around. If you don’t do anything, we could have a couple hundred in a few years.”
“I am in favor of the goose roundup,” said Lake District member Jerry Harvancik. “Right now the geese are minimal after the lake drawdown.”
“These geese have been a problem for 20 years,” Murphy said. “We want to get it under control.”