Canada Geese Management
RLI participates in a Canada Geese management program, as permitted by the Michigan DNR and USDA. Geese are protected migratory birds, so it is illegal to hunt, kill, or sell birds, or disturb nests and eggs without a permit. Our goose management program fully complies with the Michigan DNR program requirements (MDNR Program Link)
At the direction of the RLI Membership, RLI has collected petition signatures, applied for a Canada geese round up permit, and has been granted a permit by the Michigan DNR. 88% of waterfront property owners have signed the petition in favor of goose control.
2021 Program: 2021 permit 26 of 27 geese were removed on June 25th.
2020 Program: Program cancelled by State of Michigan due to Covid-19 restrictions.
2019 Program: 2019 permit 25 adults and 13 goslings (38 total) were rounded up on June 24th by our licensed contractor.
2018 Program: 2018 permit 15 of the 17 Geese were rounded up on June 28th by our licensed contractor. Two adults could not be captured.
2017 Program: For 2017 - 2021 goose removal, a new 5 year petition was submitted and a permit for 2017 was issued. 2017 Permit Geese were rounded up on June 24th by our licensed contractor.
2016 Program: There were insufficient petition signatures at the time the permit period closed. There will be no goose removal during 2016. Please sign and return your petition if you wish to support the program.
2015 Program: Due to positive testing for Avian influenza in four free-ranging Canada goslings and one sub-adult goose – all from Macomb County – all confirmed to have been infected with the HPAI H5N2 virus, the DNR geese relocation program has been cancelled for 2015.
Excerpt from 6/25/15 Michigan Department of Natural Resources press release:
"With recent avian flu findings, Steve Schmitt, veterinarian in charge of
the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory, said the relocation of geese has been
suspended for this year.
The entire 2015 press release can be found here.
Why do we remove Canada Geese from Runyan Lake?
In Michigan, the number of giant Canada geese counted each spring increased from about 9,000 in 1970 to over 300,000 today. Giant Canada geese nest in every Michigan county, but are most common (80 percent of population) in the southern third of the state.
Unfortunately, geese can be very messy and are considered by many as nuisance birds. Most complaints about geese are from residents and businesses frustrated with goose droppings. When geese concentrate at specific sites, droppings can become aesthetically unpleasant, particularly on lawns, beaches, docks, sidewalks, and golf courses. If high goose numbers persist in shallow water areas, they may even elevate bacteria levels via fecal coliform. Coupled with other contaminants, this can lead to the temporary closure of beaches. Public health agencies frequently test for levels of fecal coliform to determine if public lakes are safe for swimming.
An adult goose can eat up to 4 pounds of grass daily, the result of which is about 2 pounds of fecal matter deposited daily. Goose feces usually contains the parasites cryptosporidium, giardia, coliform, and campylobacter. Cryptosporidium poses the most serious health hazard since it causes cryptosporidiosis. Goose fecal matter has been linked to the spread of diseases and bacterial infections according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Geese are not particular about where they make their "deposits" and they therefore generally contaminate the same areas they are grazing. This leaves waterfront properties covered in goose fecal matter which is not only disgusting for the property owner, but this same matter ends up in Runyan Lake as part of run off when it rains. This can result in high E. coli levels in our lake. The geese also like the island, making use of, or enjoyment of the island by Members challenging, the dock area unsafe, and making fireworks set up not only messy, but dangerous as well due to the slipping hazard. The annual hot dog roast and other island events are also adversely affected.
Some Canada Goose facts:
Runyan Lake Inc.
PO Box 105
Fenton, MI 48430-0105, USA
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission from Runyan Lake Inc. is prohibited.