Crystal Hatches Plan to Prevent Canadian Geese Pollution
Minnesota’s bodies of water provide picturesque scenery and valuable resources for all walks of life. Keeping those bodies of water clean is a difficult, yet important task.
“I do believe that the water restoration in the area around the ponds needs to be done,” said Crystal Mayor Jim Adams.
Adams is referring specifically to Winnetka Pond in Crystal, which officials say is in need of attention.
“In some places it’s actually as shallow as one foot deep because the sediment has filed in, and so there’s a project this summer to dredge it to a depth of six feet all the way across the pond,” said Crystal City Council Member Jeff Kolb.
However, there’s one other issue that needs to be addressed.
Crystal city officials say there are a number of Canadian geese that congregate around Winnetka Pond. They can be a nuisance to residents, but their presence can also damage the water quality.
“So geese are what you may refer to as prolific poopers,” Kolb said.
According to Kolb, each goose produces up to 4 pounds of fecal droppings per day.
“And unfortunately, that waste has a big impact on water quality,” he said. “There is some bacteria in that waste and things that can really contaminate the water.”
To combat the problem, the cities began a process in 2013 called egg addling, where an animal control officer dips Canadian geese eggs in corn oil, which prevents them from hatching.
“Which is not something that makes people feel good when they hear about it, but when you look at it in the context of the impact that, I would say out-sized impact geese have on the water quality, it’s a fairly common and fairly humane way of managing the geese population,” Kolb said.
If you talk to Mayor Adams, he doesn’t quite share the same sentiment on Canadian geese management.
“If you were going to take it and personify it, it could be akin to abortion,” Adams said.
Yet despite the mayor’s feelings on the issue, he says it’s likely that’s the plan the cities will use to manage the Canadian geese population.
“I think there’s support to go forward with it,” Kolb said. “When you weigh all the options, again, the water quality impact is fairly significant.”
Egg addling occurs within 14 days after geese lay their eggs. The city must obtain permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to use the treatment at Winnetka Pond.