Canada Geese Management
RLI participates in a Canada Geese management program, as permitted by the Michigan DNR and USDA. Geese are protected migratory birds, so it is illegal to hunt, kill, or sell birds, or disturb nests and eggs without a permit. Our goose management program fully complies with the Michigan DNR program requirements (MDNR Program Link)
At the direction of the RLI Membership, RLI has collected petition signatures, applied for a Canada geese round up permit, and has been granted a permit by the Michigan DNR. 88% of waterfront property owners have signed the petition in favor of goose control.
2023 Program: To participate in the 2023 goose roundup program we must first participate in the 2023 egg collection and nest destruction program. Reference 4/7/23 email to members. The most humane method of managing geese is to minimize their reproduction. We have since been informed the 2023 goose round up program has been cancelled. Reference the email sent to members on 5/3/23.
To AllMembers of Runyan Lake Inc.:
Last year, the Canada Goose Round Up Program was cancelled because of the detection of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in wild birds in the state. The disease has continued to persist in wild birds and mammals throughout the state and there continues to be cases in backyard poultry flocks. Avian influenza is a virus that can infect wild birds and both free-ranging and domestic poultry such as chickens, turkeys, quail, and geese. The continued presence of the HPAI virus creates a threat to both wildlife and domestic poultry facilities. As a result, the Canada Goose Round Up Program for 2023 has been cancelled. As previously communicated, as an alternative we have been granted a permit to participate in egg harvesting and nest destruction during the spring of 2023.
We need your help if we want to reasonably manage the goose population on Runyan Lake this year. We had a significant number of geese that overwintered on our lake. Based on the morning and evening honking we still have a significant population around the lake. We have one week to locate any goose nesting sites around Runyan Lake. After that time we will have to live with the geese and their offspring for the remainder of the year. Geese without offspring are much more likely to leave the lake and take up residence elsewhere.
This is how you can help.Please note – Specific rules must be followed with required procedures and documentation. If we do not follow the process we will not be granted a goose removal permit for 2023.
Now thru May 11:
More details can be found in the attached pdf.
If you are interesting in helping with egg gathering, nest destruction, and documentation please contact Dave.
Please share this information with your friends and neighbors on the lake in next couple of days to keep eyes open for birds hanging out.
Report nest sightings to:
Historical Goose Management Actions
2022 Program: 2022 permit 11 eggs removed from nests under permit. 8 adults and 10 goslings are on the lake. Due to Avian Flu the goose round up program for 2022 has been cancelled.
2021 Program: 2021 permit 26 of 27 geese were removed on June 25th.
2020 Program: Program cancelled by State of Michigan due to Covid-19 restrictions.
2019 Program: 2019 permit 25 adults and 13 goslings (38 total) were rounded up on June 24th by our licensed contractor.
2018 Program: 2018 permit 15 of the 17 Geese were rounded up on June 28th by our licensed contractor. Two adults could not be captured.
2017 Program: For 2017 - 2021 goose removal, a new 5 year petition was submitted and a permit for 2017 was issued. 2017 Permit Geese were rounded up on June 24th by our licensed contractor.
2016 Program: There were insufficient petition signatures at the time the permit period closed. There will be no goose removal during 2016. Please sign and return your petition if you wish to support the program.
2015 Program: Due to positive testing for Avian influenza in four free-ranging Canada goslings and one sub-adult goose – all from Macomb County – all confirmed to have been infected with the HPAI H5N2 virus, the DNR geese relocation program has been cancelled for 2015.
Excerpt from 6/25/15 Michigan Department of Natural Resources press release:
"With recent avian flu findings, Steve Schmitt, veterinarian in charge of
the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory, said the relocation of geese has been
suspended for this year.
The entire 2015 press release can be found here.
Why do we remove Canada Geese from Runyan Lake?
In Michigan, the number of giant Canada geese counted each spring increased from about 9,000 in 1970 to over 300,000 today. Giant Canada geese nest in every Michigan county, but are most common (80 percent of population) in the southern third of the state.
Unfortunately, geese can be very messy and are considered by many as nuisance birds. Most complaints about geese are from residents and businesses frustrated with goose droppings. When geese concentrate at specific sites, droppings can become aesthetically unpleasant, particularly on lawns, beaches, docks, sidewalks, and golf courses. If high goose numbers persist in shallow water areas, they may even elevate bacteria levels via fecal coliform. Coupled with other contaminants, this can lead to the temporary closure of beaches. Public health agencies frequently test for levels of fecal coliform to determine if public lakes are safe for swimming.
An adult goose can eat up to 4 pounds of grass daily, the result of which is about 2 pounds of fecal matter deposited daily. Goose feces usually contains the parasites cryptosporidium, giardia, coliform, and campylobacter. Cryptosporidium poses the most serious health hazard since it causes cryptosporidiosis. Goose fecal matter has been linked to the spread of diseases and bacterial infections according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Geese are not particular about where they make their "deposits" and they therefore generally contaminate the same areas they are grazing. This leaves waterfront properties covered in goose fecal matter which is not only disgusting for the property owner, but this same matter ends up in Runyan Lake as part of run off when it rains. This can result in high E. coli levels in our lake. The geese also like the island, making use of, or enjoyment of the island by Members challenging, the dock area unsafe, and making fireworks set up not only messy, but dangerous as well due to the slipping hazard. The annual hot dog roast and other island events are also adversely affected.
Some Canada Goose facts:
Runyan Lake Inc.
PO Box 105
Fenton, MI 48430-0105, USA
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