Runyan Lake Inc.

The lake association for the entire community of Runyan Lake
located in Tyrone Township, Livingston County, Michigan.



Lost & Found
About Us!
Contact Us
Annual Dues
Boat Ramp
Boating Safety
Community Notices
Dates & Events
Fish & Water Studies
Garbage Collection
Geese Management
General Meetings
History of Runyan Lake
Invasive Species
Lake Information
Minutes & Newsletters
Mute Swans
Other Associations
Photo Galleries
Other Contacts
RLHAI Website
RLPPOA Website
Runyan Lake "Stuff"
Sewer System
Vision & Mission
Water Level
Water Management
Water Quality
Weed Treatment
What's New?
Tyrone Twp. News
Privacy Policy




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. 

horizontal rule


2023 Program: To participate in the 2023 goose roundup program we must first participate in the 2023 egg collection and nest destruction program.  Reference 4/7/23 email to members.  The most humane method of managing geese is to minimize their reproduction.  We have since been informed the 2023 goose round up program has been cancelled.  Reference the email sent to members on 5/3/23.

To All Members of Runyan Lake Inc.:

Last year, the Canada Goose Round Up Program was cancelled because of the detection of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in wild birds in the state. The disease has continued to persist in wild birds and mammals throughout the state and there continues to be cases in backyard poultry flocks.  Avian influenza is a virus that can infect wild birds and both free-ranging and domestic poultry such as chickens, turkeys, quail, and geese.  The continued presence of the HPAI virus creates a threat to both wildlife and domestic poultry facilities.  As a result, the Canada Goose Round Up Program for 2023 has been cancelled.  As previously communicated, as an alternative we have been granted a permit to participate in egg harvesting and nest destruction during the spring of 2023. 

We need your help if we want to reasonably manage the goose population on Runyan Lake this year.  We had a significant number of geese that overwintered on our lake.  Based on the morning and evening honking we still have a significant population around the lake.  We have one week to locate any goose nesting sites around Runyan Lake.  After that time we will have to live with the geese and their offspring for the remainder of the year.  Geese without offspring are much more likely to leave the lake and take up residence elsewhere.

This is how you can help.  Please note Specific rules must be followed with required procedures and documentation.  If we do not follow the process we will not be granted a goose removal permit for 2023. 

Now thru May 11:

bulletPlease look for geese and locate where they are hanging out.  The goal is to locate their nest.  We want to identify nests no later than 5/7.  Watch for geese emerging in the mornings and try to determine the area they came from. 
bulletGeese may be nesting a significant distance from the lake.  Once eggs hatch the geese will them move onto Runyan Lake.  We therefore need help from off water properties as well.
bulletIf you locate a nest do not disturb it.  Please contact Dave Verbeke see below.

 The process:

  1. Locate goose nesting sites.  Please allow RLI representatives to remove the eggs.  We must document the location of the nest and number of eggs removed.
  2. Once the eggs are removed the geese can be humanly harassed to discourage them from re-nesting and the nest can be destroyed.  
  3. If geese continue to nest we can remove eggs until May 11. 

More details can be found in the attached pdf.  

If you are interesting in helping with egg gathering, nest destruction, and documentation please contact Dave.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors on the lake in next couple of days to keep eyes open for birds hanging out.

Report nest sightings to:

David Verbeke  810-919-6982

Historical Goose Management Actions


2022 Program:  2022 permit   11 eggs removed from nests under permit.  8 adults and 10 goslings are on the lake.  Due to Avian Flu the goose round up program for 2022 has been cancelled.


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.

6/20 - The geese once again avoided us - have another week to capture them.  Still working on this.  They seem to know we are coming for them...........

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.

"Each summer, the DNR routinely relocates nuisance Canada geese in southeast Michigan to other parts of the state," Schmitt explained. "Given these developments, the DNR has stopped all goose relocation activities, except in areas where there is a domestic poultry or public health concern."

The entire 2015 press release can be found here.

horizontal rule

DNR Recommendations for Canada Goose Management


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: 


Geese can live up to 24 years.


Mating is for life.  However, if a mate is lost, a new mate is often found.


The average nest contains 3 to 6 eggs, with as many as 12 possible.


Molting of adult birds occurs every summer for about 6 weeks when the young are being reared, rendering all birds flightless (this is the time geese are rounded up since they cannot fly away)


Geese are grazing animals, eating grasses and other succulent plant materials.


An adult goose eats up to 4 lbs of grass daily.


An adult goose drops 2 lbs of fecal matter daily


Goose fecal matter has been linked to the spread of diseases and bacterial infections per the CDC.


The population of Canada geese increases up to 17% annually.


Geese typically return to the same nesting and birth sites every year, thus if not removed the local population rapidly increases.

A disgusting fact:  Did you know that in preparation for the 2008 Runyan Lake fireworks we removed three 33 gallon trash cans full of goose droppings from the island?  Like we said, a disgusting fact, which demonstrates the problem..

How are geese removed?
A state licensed and permitted company is used to round up the geese.  Pontoons slowly guide the geese to a common area where they are then persuaded to go onto shore.  Since the geese cannot fly away, because the adults are molting and the young cannot yet fly, a mesh fence is placed around the geese to contain them.  They are then removed one at a time by hand and placed into a holding vehicle.  The geese are taken to a DNR approved site for relocation.  2008 was the first year Runyan Lake participated in this program, as directed by the Membership, as a result of numerous complaints regarding goose droppings on the island and on member property shores.


Michigan DNR permitted Canada geese removal from Runyan Lake



# of geese removed

Comment Permit Cover Letter
2008 47 The first year of geese removal on file
2009 14 Less geese due to prior year removal, 1 goose not captured on file
2010 0 No geese - can you believe it? DNRE_2010
2011 11 4 adults, 7 goslings USDA_2011
2012 0 No geese - the pair here left  DNR_2012  
2013 0 Geese present but gone on round-up days DNR_2013
2014 0 Geese present but gone on round-up days N/A
2015 0 27 geese present, DNR cancelled program* N/A
2016 0 DNR permit not issued due to DNR error N/A
2017 15 Removed 6/24 DNR_2017
2018 15 15 of 17 removed 6/28 2018 permit
2019 38 25 adults, 13 goslings removed 6/24 2019 permit
2020 0 Program cancelled due to COVID-19  
2021 26 26 of 27 removed on 6/25 2021 permit
2022 0* *11 eggs removed during egg harvesting, 0 geese removed due to Avian Flu.  8 adults, 10 goslings present 2022 permit


* See above DNR press release related to 2015 geese relocation program cancellation.




horizontal rule

Runyan Lake Inc.

PO Box 105

 Fenton, MI  48430-0105, USA

Contact us

horizontal rule

Copyright 2007- 2024 Runyan Lake Inc.  All rights reserved.  Updated January 13, 2024.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission from Runyan Lake Inc. is prohibited.
Please view our:  |   Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use  |  Site Map  | 

horizontal rule