The first phase of the goose-control plan, currently under way, involves non-lethal methods such as hazing by dogs, shoreline fencing, coyote cutouts and spraying lawns with a sour-tasting extract. If these approaches do not work, a second phase would include a roundup of geese by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for euthanasia during the warm season.
Canada Geese are a non-native species in the Puget Sound area. Historically, geese would migrate through the area, however, over time they have become residential non-migratory, due to favorable conditions created by landscaping and lawns. During the past few years, growing numbers of the geese have been living along the shores of the lake.
In addition to the public health concerns at the swim beach, the geese feces are creating conditions that pose risk to the ecology of Cranberry Lake longer term. The feces enrich the water with phosphates, nitrates and organic nutrients that promote an abundant growth of algae. As the algae dies and decays, it depletes the dissolved oxygen supply needed by other aquatic life, resulting in a lake with recurrent fish kills and blue-green algae blooms, or cyano-bacteria, some of which produce toxins or poisons that can kill pets, waterfowl and other animals, in addition to causing severe human illness.
Large numbers of geese in the area also pose risk to aircraft at the naval base on the island.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. Washington State Parks will turn 100 years old on March 19, 2013, and will celebrate with events in parks all over the state, all year long. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.
Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WAStatePks_NEWS and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
The Discover Pass provides revenue that supports continued state park operations. Discover Pass provides access to millions of acres of parks and state recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.