Efforts to control Rochester’s goose population are set to get underway in mid to late April.
Parks and Recreation staff plans to work with a wildlife management contractor and community volunteers to addle eggs in several parks where geese make nests.
“Year after year we receive increased complaints regarding the geese,” Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman said. “An adult goose can drop 2 to 3 pounds of feces per day. This is a safety issue as some portions of the trails become unnavigable. Picnic areas and playgrounds are unattractive due to the volume of droppings.
“Our efforts will focus on the resident geese population. These are the geese that live in Rochester year-round.”
Geese and pet waste contains fecal coliform bacteria that, when found in rivers and lakes, may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. The south fork of the Zumbro River in Rochester is classified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as being impaired for recreational use because it contains too much fecal coliform bacteria.
The addling process typically involves oiling or otherwise manipulating eggs to prevent them from developing and hatching. The activity is listed as a humane control measure by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Federal law protects geese, but there are provisions for management of resident geese on public and private lands, and the local effort is being conducted under the guidance of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help can fill out a form on the Park and Recreation website at www.rochestermn.gov/government/departments/parks-and-recreation/parks-trails/goose-management