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Gila's Place

A menagerie of eclectic things…

Nice title right? Catchy.

Well, it’s what’s keeping me up at night and if you live near a pond or lake it may eventually be food for your sleepless thoughts.

Dozens of Canadian geese make their home at my neighborhood lake and are reeking havoc with their poo. It loads the lake with phosphorus and nitrogen which causes pond eutrophication. While this is a natural process the goose excrement increases levels of these nutrients at an alarming rate and rapidly speeds up the process.

To add insult to injury, the algae (Brittle Naiad) growing in the lake is not a species native to the area, which means the geese are actually bringing it in. They eat the algae somewhere else, bring it here, then deposit and fertilize it all in one squat.

If left unattended the lake will die and become a forty acre slew. The algae growth will eventually deplete the water of oxygen and cause a massive fish kill.

This area of the lake was relatively free of algae the first week of July. Here we are a little over a month later.

The neighborhood lake- Gila Todd

Just one goose per acre will overload the water with phosphorus. We have a forty acre lake but the geese population here hovers in the dozens. Our beach and resident’s yards are filled with sticky piles that would put small dog droppings to shame.

We have a problem. If not corrected soon the water quality will be unfit for man or beast including those pesky geese.

Many homeowners feel that simply culling the bird numbers might be the answer. But those of us who understand wildlife and nature know that only conservation will truly control the issue.

The Canadian geese populations have exploded in recent years and our community is but one of thousands in Missouri battling this issue.

Conservation is an ongoing process. We have many decades to look forward to managing this problem.

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