Canada Geese nuisance issues at Columbia Lake

Jan. 25—COLUMBIA — In recent years, more Canada Geese have been spotted around Columbia and the Columbia Lake Association is partnering with the town in an attempt to solve the problems the geese have caused.

Mary Roickle, president of the Columbia Lake Association and a member of the town's Lake Management Advisory Commission ( LMAC), said the number of geese in and around Columbia Lake has increased exponentially over the past five years, from approximately 22 to over 100 as of last Friday.

The geese have also been spotted at other locations around town, including Mono Pond as well as public and private lands.

Roickle said the geese are attracted to Columbia because of the development around Columbia Lake.

" Their primary food is lawns and with new homes going up and new lawns, they're attracted to us," she said.

According to Roickle, the geese also maintain a consistent presence in Columbia because they can live up to 18 years in rural areas.

The increase in the Canada Goose population in Columbia has caused problems for residents.

" They can be aggressive in protecting their young ones when their young ones cannot fly," Roickle said. " We are aware of geese honking and running after folks if they feel they are getting too close to their goslings. Typically, that's the exception, not the rule. Typically, they'll run right back into the lake."

In addition, the uptick in the town's Canada Goose population has led to more goose droppings. This has led to areas in Columbia being less walkable. Their excrement also contains bacteria, which has caused water quality concerns.

" We had three dogs this year gain a disease from the bacteria in the goose poop," Roickle said.

In an effort to resolve the problems caused by the Canada Geese, the Columbia Lake Association, in partnership with the town, is conducting a survey to gain insights and feedback related to nuisance issues.

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