UPDATE: 3/20 at 1:38 p.m.
The city of Wisconsin Rapids is waiting to hear back from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to begin reducing the city's growing geese population.
This week, the city approved a plan to allow the agency to corral the geese using boats during an 8-10 week period known as molting- when the geese do not fly. During this time, usually mid-June through August, the geese shed their outer wing feathers and regrow new ones. The method is predicted to reduce the city's geese population by 200 birds.
Jim Borski, Wisconsin Rapids Public Works Director, says the effort is expected to cost around $5,000. The poultry will be processed, and tested. If deemed safe, it will returned to area food pantries.
ORIGINAL STORY: 3/12 at 7:52 p.m.
Wisconsin Rapids Public Works Director Jim Borski is quite literally on a wild goose chase. He and his staff have been trying for several years to curb the growth of geese who's numbers have been growing significantly.
"We have seen the goose population go from zero basically to about the worst we saw last summer was about 200 geese living in town." Borski said.
Last year, Public Works crews tried oiling the eggs of geese in order to stop new goslings from being born. While it did help, the effort did nothing to eliminate the adult geese who were already in the area. That is why this year they are looking to start a controlled hunting process to help limit goose numbers. It is a proposal that still needs approval from both the city and Fish and Wildlife Service.
"They gave us the egg oiling permit again this year which the DNR handles. When it come to lethal measures then you have to involve the Fish and Wildlife Service since they are a migratory bird." said Borski.
The city will likely have to contract out to get the job done. Crews would catch the geese and then take them to a remote location to euthanize them. The proposal has been addressed at several recent committee meetings and so far has not met significant opposition.