Coalition of Lake Associations
The reduction of goose population through deterrent measures and egg addling to reduce their pollution. The control of beavers and other harmful animals that endanger our lakes. The management of fish population for sport as well as food chain considerations.
Cupsaw Lake in Ringwood, NJ has had success with its goose problem with a multi-pronged approach. Until 2012, our lake was averaging about 40 geese who regularly populated our beach. It was a morning chore for lifeguards to cart away wheelbarrows of goose poop. The first step, which had its fans and its critics, was to engage USDA Wildlife Services for a roundup. (This seems to have became easier to do soon after Sully’s miracle on the Hudson.) The roundup managed the population down to about 15 geese, but clearly this was not a program that could be tolerated on an annual basis. Our membership wanted a more humane approach.
Cupsaw expanded its Environmental Committee to include animal welfare advocates: the same people who might have picketed a repeat roundup. These advocates taught the committee the habits of geese: when they mate, when they nest, when they molt, etc. We were also taught about egg addling techniques. That same contingent made a deal with the lake association board: If we do our best to avoid roundups by using deterrent methods, they would clean up any “stray” goose poop from April to October! A true case of putting one’s money where your mouth is, and an offer we couldn’t refuse.
This was all well and good, but we still needed a stronger approach to goose deterrence. Fortunately, another member of the group was an avid water sport person. He began chasing the geese off the lake by kayak every morning at 6:30am, and in the evening too! Most lake managers chase geese off the beach and lawns into the lake, where the geese feel very safe. They know they can return to the shore when the danger disappears. The trick is to make the lake itself hostile territory. And the time that is most important for this activity is right before the geese molt (lose their feathers and become flightless). This is usually mid-June for our area. We also rely on a few solar powered blinker lights near our beach to discourage any itinerant geese from bedding down for the night. The light appears to them to be a predator. We have retained the services of USDA Wildlife Services for the past five years, but only as a last resort. We’ve been able to “opt-out” of the service every year due to the success of our deterrence program.
This multi-pronged approach has allowed Cupsaw Lake to have a humane approach to be goose-free, but more particularly goose-poop-free all summer for the last five years!
Alan Fedeli, Chairman of Cupsaw Environmental Committee and NJCOLA Board Member
“Beavers at our Lakes” Amy DeCheser of NJ Fish & Wildlife (Nov. 19, 2016). Permission required to Reproduce.
“Goose Management” Kim Clapper of USDA Wildlife Service (May 2, 2015).
“Animal Legal Defense. Erica Mathews of the Legal Defense League (May 2, 2015).