Goose cull recommended

The Town of Oliver is looking to continue an annual cull of urban geese this winter to deal with their growing population.

In a report going before council on Monday, staff are recommending that permits be issued to six hunters to allow the town's goose management program to run until the spring.

The heavily-regulated program allows hunters with permits to kill off urban geese in order to keep their population at bay.

"Of particular concern are Tucelnuit Lake and the Oliver Airport as these two main areas are environmentally attractive for large numbers of geese to congregate," town staff said in a report.

One of staff's concerns with a "steadily growing population" of geese is their feces in Tucelnuit Lake, which adversely affects water quality. A water quality advisory for the lake was in place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7.

It's unclear how many geese are killed off annually on average, but the report noted — at the airport in particular — that 71 geese have been killed in the past four years.

The goose cull has gone on since 2010 in the town, and staff said it has been "several years" since there's been any public complaints.

"If Oliver continues with the program, it keeps the momentum of the previous years of work in keeping the reduction of geese."

Geese aren't native to the Okanagan but were introduced to the region in the 1960s and 70s.

Many municipalities take measures to limit their population, including egg addling in the spring. The Town of Oliver contributes $2,000 each year to the egg addling program.

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