Friday, May 27, 2022

Goose Patrol

 Any of us who have been either playing golf or working on the golf course this spring couldn't of helped but notice the increased Canadian Geese population and the excrement they leave behind. Each goose can eat four pounds of grass per day which turns into two pounds of you know what. Geese believe it or not, are still state and federally protected under laws and regulations within the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the California Fish and Game Code.

#12 seems to be the new hang out spot for migratory geese. Easy access to food and the lake for escape predators is my guess as to why they now like this location.

It is legal to utilize non-lethal hazing methods to pressure migratory geese to depart the golf course, but the hazing pressure must be maintained so the geese population doesn't get comfortable and start to nest and make granite Bay Golf Club their home. Granite Bay is a very desirable nesting location for geese as we have wide open food sources, safety with pond escapes as well many hidden nesting locations in the riparian areas. And despite all of our hazing efforts there are always a few families that escape the hazing pressure and hatch here every year. 

A few Gaggle's  of geese are tolerable and fit our  Audubon Signature Sanctuary Status, but if all of the migratory geese pairs that pass through GBGC were allowed to propagate we would have one mess on our hand, particularly as legal hazing efforts are substantially limited  when goslings cannot fly.

Gaggles of geese are inevitable here at GBGC. We do try to put extra pressure on during mating season to prevent inundation, but a few always slip through. 

I believe the new renovation, opening up the course has made Granite Bay more desirable  this year and is the reason for our increased population. We have over the years utilized many hazing and deterrent methods from realistic coyote manikins to lasers  and flashing lights in the ponds, as well as spraying  non toxic deterrents on the turf. The only process that has consistently worked to keep the population to a manageable level, has been hazing with trained Border Collie's.

Some of us remember the very realistic coyote scare crows we used to have on the course. Even with frequent moving of the twenty or so that we had, the geese figured them out, rendering this hazing method ineffective.

Granite Bay has been using Dog & Whistle Goose Control since 2009 to legally harass the goose population. Recently we did have to step up the pressure to get some of the troublesome populations that that had figured out our hazing patterns. The extra pressure has made a difference and populations have substantially decreased since early spring. Again having a few geese around fits Granite Bay which is a good thing because getting rid every goose all the time is probably not possible.

Jane from Dog & Whistle Goose Control speaks with a group of Granite Bay kids during a nature walk right here at granite Bay Golf Club in 2011

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