Healthy Shorelines for Healthy Lakes

Canada Geese on Your Property

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Canada Geese spend as much time on land as they do in water. They are especially attracted to manicured lawns with lake access. And why not? They like to eat new grass shoots and prefer an unobstructed view where they can take notice of predators, as well as allowing for easy access into and out of the lake.

Dealing With Canada Geese on Your Shoreline Property

The trick is to make your property less attractive to Canada Geese obstructing the shoreline and removing the short grass they feed upon.

To accomplish this, stop mowing the grass along your shoreline. In no time, you’ll have a vegetative buffer (a strip of vegetation along your shoreline) that Canada Geese will no longer like to eat. Plus, you will have removed their convenient lake access.

Speed It Up

To speed up the process, you can plant some tall coarse grasses, shrubs and wildflowers. Your buffer should be tall enough so that geese can’t see over the plants, and be at least three metres wide. However, if your property doesn’t allow for a buffer of this width, try to get as close to it as you can, close counts.

Not only will you be discouraging Canada Geese from visiting your property, you’ll also be providing habitat for a variety of wildlife, including important pollinators. You’ll also help reduce the amount of contaminants that enter your lake from runoff and help reduce erosion.

Please Note

Although there are scare tactics that can be used to deter geese, they tend to work only in the short term. Also, remember that Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA). This Act prohibits the killing or capturing of Canada Geese as well as damaging, destroying, removing or disturbing their nests, except as provided for under the Migratory Birds Regulations. This Act is implemented by the Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada). For more information, you can read this Handbook by Environment Canada on managing Canada Geese.

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