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Cultus Lake struggling to get a handle on its invasive goose problem

Several management methods being tried from egg addling, habitat modification, and educating public
Canada geese on Main Beach at Cultus Lake on Aug. 7, 2012. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The lakeside community of Cultus Lake has been struggling to get a handle on its goose problem for years.

A goose management committee has been working in earnest to manage and control the non-native goose population at the lake, according to Taryn Dixon, electoral Area H director for FVRD, in a report to the Cultus Lake Park Board.

“The geese we are trying to manage are not native Canada geese,” Dixon said. “They were brought in as juveniles during the 1960s and never learned to migrate.”

The non-native, non-migratory nature of this goose population may be little known, and could explain why they are hanging out on the shores of Cultus Lake.

A 2018 study by EBB consulting found that if left unchecked, the local goose population would skyrocket.

Several methods are being employed to keep them at bay: habitat modification; bothering the geese in a way that does not harm them; educating the public around the importance of not feeding the geese; and signage.

“The last few years we have also applied for a ‘danger/damage’ permit from the federal government which gives the trained committee members permission to search for nests and to addle the eggs,” Dixon added.

Area H’s goose management committee is also striving to educate the public on how it can help, such as refraining from feeding the geese, which has made them human-habituated with little fear of people.

RELATED: Geese an ongoing challenge for lakers

RELATED: Park board was seeking goose solutions in 2011

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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