A tourist feeds Kevin, Penticton’s broken-winged goose and other geese who live at Okanagan Lake in Penticton. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

A tourist feeds Kevin, Penticton’s broken-winged goose and other geese who live at Okanagan Lake in Penticton. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Trying to control Okanagan’s Canada geese population

Egg addling program is in its 16th year in the city

Controlling Penticton’s Canada geese population is underway.

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program (OVGMP) is conducting its 16th annual egg-addling program this year with crews egg addling until mid-May.

Egg addling involves shaking eggs or coating them with non-toxic biodegradable food-grade corn oil within 14 days of incubation to make them non-viable. Once addled, eggs are returned to the nest. Geese continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch. By then it is generally too late in the year to produce more eggs. Adults are not harmed and will continue with their regular annual life cycle.

There is an estimated 2,500 Canada geese in Penticton. In the 15 years of addling, greater than 20,000 eggs have been addled which equates to an estimated 11,000 – 15,000 geese directly not entering the population. This does not include the thousands of offspring that those geese could have produced over the years.

Other towns and cities like Oliver cull a certain amount of geese per year to control the population.

Kate Hagmeier, program coordinator, is careful to remind people that management actions target geese that would not naturally be nesting in the region. These are generations of offspring of several different subspecies of Canada Geese that were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s. Canada geese from elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. were moved here as part of managed introduction programs.

Key to success of the program is finding and accessing new nests. The public is asked to report lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest locations on private or public land by emailing coordinator@okanagangooseplan.com or calling 1-877-943-3209.

The public is asked to keep away from goose nests and not touch the eggs. A federal permit is required to allow crews to addle goose eggs. If a nest is on private land, a permission form to access the nest is available on the program website (www.okanagangooseplan.com).

Information about the program is available at okanagangooseplan.com.

Fowl facts:

– There an estimated 7 million Canada geese in Canada

– Canada geese were introduced in the 1960s

– Geese droppings contribute to contimating water ways and closing down beaches

READ MORE: Adoptions pour in for Kevin, Penticton’s broken-winged goose