California Boating Card


Editorial Report: Perspective

PERSPECTIVE: Early Canadian goose season to help decrease non-migrating geese populations is a failure

By RON WILSON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 06, 2012

The Department of Fish and Game opened a 5-day early hunting season for non-migrating Canadian Goose again this year, and the hunters did not even put a dent in the local goose population, as most of them stayed on the golf courses, sewer ponds and residential ponds.

The early honker season to control overpopulations of non-migrating Canadian Geese and their every increasing problem they cause for ranchers, farmers and health issues for humans, is a bust It is not the Department of Fish and Games fault for this problem, it’s because the geese have too many places that are protected and not hunted.

The non-migrating California Canadian geese are smarter than migrating geese, as they see the changes that man makes to shoot them, such as blinds, etc. and change their flight patterns.

At Modesto Reservoir, for example, hunters can watch the small flocks come into the lake on a path like they have GPS settings, skirting the hunters blinds and in a few minutes time there are a couple hundred non-migration Canadian honkers that have been feeding in farmer’s fields, come in and light where nobody can get at them and rest up and drink, preparing for the next day’s assault on cattlemen’s fields and farmers crops.

With each passing year, the flocks of non-migrating California Canadian Geese get larger and larger and do more and more damage and cause more health issues with their waste, while the DFGs hands are tied.

At Modesto Reservoir, for example, Stanislaus County has created their own problem by giving the geese more protected land to live on. We used to be able to hunt Goose Island,  but the county changed the blind boundaries and instituted new rules to keep hunters off the islands that dot the reservoir, for no apparent reason.

The problem is statewide, where man has made it just too convenient for wild geese to live and prosper in protected areas in California. This leaves the Department of Fish and Game an ever increasing problem of Canada geese that multiply and fail to leave the state.

One solution might be that the Department of Fish and Game start opening the early non-migrating population of Canadian geese season to start on September 1st and leave it open until the end of the waterfowl season.

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