Victoria, BC- The Capital Regional District is undertaking a pilot project to help control the Canada Geese population off the beach areas at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Geese produce large amounts of feces which increase coliform levels in lake water, cause odour and create slippery trails.
CRD Regional Parks has contracted a professional dog handler to move the geese to areas away from the beaches in a humane and environmentally sensitive manner. The patrol will take place at the park throughout August and September in the evenings.
“Elk/Beaver Lake has become home to hundreds of Canada Geese, which has become problematic,” said Christopher Causton, CRD Parks Committee Chair. “This pilot project is part of a larger goose control program for the regional park, which is one of the most popular in the district, with more than 300,000 visitors in June and July this year.”
Regional Parks staff also rakes the beaches on a daily basis to remove goose droppings. In July when geese are molting their flight feathers, snow fencing is placed in the water just offshore to help keep geese off beach areas.
The dog patrol project has been successfully employed by the City of Victoria at Beacon Hill Park, as well as golf courses in the region. The dog handler employs methods advocated by Environment Canada to avoid injury to the birds. The dogs are trained to chase the geese on command, forcing the birds to fly away. As the geese begin to recognize the handler and dogs, their presence becomes a deterrent to settling in the patrolled areas.
The CRD would like to take this opportunity to request the public’s assistance by not feeding geese at regional parks.
Frequently Asked Questions
For further information please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks