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Annual effort to curb goose population shakes up in Okanagan

Egg addling underway until mid-May across the valley
The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is conducting its annual goose egg-addling program until mid-May 2024. (File photo)

An annual goose population control method has begun.

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program has started this year’s egg-addling effort. Egg addling is a population management method used to manage introduced populations of non-migratory Canada geese.

The geese are overpopulated and increase the risk of water contamination, the City of Vernon said.

The program is already underway and will continue until mid-May.

Egg addling involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable, before returning them to the nest. The geese will then continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch, usually too late in the year to produce more.

This population control method is supported by a number of animal welfare organizations, the city said, adding geese are not harmed by egg addling and will continue with their annual life cycle.

The key to successful egg addling is finding and accessing new nests, and people are asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese or nest locations on private and public land by emailing or calling 1-877-943-3209.

While reporting these sightings is welcomed, people are asked to keep away from nests and refrain from touching eggs.

“These Canada geese were relocated here from other parts of Canada and the U.S. as part of controlled introduction programs and they would not be nesting in this region naturally,” said Kate Hagmeier, program coordinator. “This addling program only affects these introduced species.”

The egg addling program is responsible for preventing the local goose population (an estimated 2,500 birds) from growing out of control. In the program’s 16 years of addling, more than 21,000 eggs have been addled, equating to an estimated 11,000 to 16,000 geese not entering the population — not including the thousands of offspring that could have hatched over the years.

On top of addling, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program assists communities through actions such as public education, population monitoring and habitat modification.

The program is a partnership between the City of Vernon, Regional District of North Okanagan, District of Coldstream, District of Lake Country, Central Okanagan Regional District, City of Kelowna, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, City of Penticton, Town of Osoyoos, Town of Oliver, District of Peachland, and District of Summerland.

More information about the program is available at

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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