Geese roam in Parksville Community Park. - File photo

Goose cull proposed in Vernon

Three options to manage bird populations in popular parks pitched to councillors

A “kill” program is one option the City of Vernon may consider to manage the goose population within city limits.

A cull of 100-150 birds, costing $41,000 is one of three options to be pitched to Vernon councillors Monday by Parks and Public Spaces manager Kendra Kryszak.

Acknowledged by parks as an often unpopular method, the kill day would take place sometime in June during the period when geese moult.

After the birds are deceased, “they would be rounded up into a trailer and taken to a location to be dispatched,” the report to council reads.

These lethal techniques have only been used in a handful of communities, the report states, and will likely see an “adverse public and media reaction.”

Other options include changing the landscape of Kin Beach and Paddlewheel Park to deter geese from congregating or increasing scare tactics.

Adding grade changes, fences and introducing new planting materials to deter the congregation of the pesky birds in popular parks may reduce the number of geese, but would likely cause the geese to relocate to adjacent areas, the report reads.

Altering the landscape, however, could cost up to $2 million, depending on the scope of work involved.

Hiring a full-time employee to use scare tactics at Kin Beach, Paddlewheel Park and Lakeshore Park is an option that could cost the city $60,000. The employee would work regular hours to remove waste and relocate geese. This would address the issue of waste in parks, but would not mitigate the growing population of geese in the Vernon area.

Kin Beach was closed last July after Interior Health found unacceptable levels of E. coli in the water. The no swimming signs were later removed 10 days later.

READ MORE: City of Vernon: safe to resume swimming at Kin Beach

Council approved the additional spending of $15,000 to expand the egg addling program in the city on Feb. 10. Councillors also requested administration amend the Animal Control Bylaw to ban wildlife feeding within city limits. Those bylaw changes would be considered at a later date.

Currently, the city is spending around $35,000 a year to address goose populations through the egg addling program and scare tactics.

Council will hear the presentation from Parks during its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 24.

READ MORE: Vernon to add $15K to goose management


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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