Geese flow into Rochester

11-03 06 geese jw .jpg
Canada geese land in a field inside Rochester last weekend. Goose numbers have been increasing this month and should hit a peak close to Thanksgiving.

The big push of Canada geese, many of them giant Canadas, into Rochester has started.

Just how many isn't known because the Department of Natural Resources, which has counted the geese in the past, has been busy with working on monitoring chronic wasting disease for deer, said DNR area wildlife supervisor Don Nelson.

If the disease isn't found this year, a special CWD zone will close and the DNR can get back to other jobs, such as monitoring geese, he said.

But from what he and others have seen, the big flocks are moving in. The geese tend to migrate this time of the year and hit their peak, maybe around 30,000, around Thanksgiving.

It's also harder to count them now because they are so spread out.


They once congregated here, mostly at Silver Lake just north of downtown Rochester. The lake, however, is no longer warmed by water from the Silver Lake Power Plant, which is used much less than 20 years ago, and there are many more small stormwater ponds and other water for geese to use.

About 20 years ago, there were studies to keep tabs on the giants that nest north of Winnipeg. But Nelson said he doesn't know of any studies going on now. "They seem to be doing OK," he said.

Venison donations: Any hunter who wants to donate venison to help the hungry can take the deer to four places in this region.

Regulations state that only whole carcasses with hide will be accepted. They have to be free from any sign of illness and must have a proper DNR registration tag.

The DNR suggests calling ahead and learning more about regulations for donations. The four places in this region are: 4R Meats in Chatfield, 507-867-4180; Bluff County Meats in Eitzen, 507-495-3336; Huettl's in Lake City, 651-345-3424; and Buckridge Meats in Millville, 507-753-2183.

Deer donated to food shelves can be processed at no cost to hunters.

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