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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

April 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Euthanize problem geese at Deception Pass?

As another recreation season starts to heat up, so is the conflict with Canadian geese that have taken up residence at a beloved swimming beach closed at Deception Pass State Park at the height of the season last summer because of their poop.

The swimming beach at Cranberry Lake in Deception Pass State park remains closed because of goose poop. Photo by Seattle Times staff photographer Bettina Hansen

The swimming beach at Cranberry Lake in Deception Pass State park remains closed because of goose poop.
Photo by Seattle Times staff photographer Bettina Hansen

Now Jack Hartt, ranger at Deception Pass State Park is sweating the poop still piling up along the shore. Orange snow fencing has been put up to keep the geese out of the swimming beach at Cranberry Lake, but it’s anyone’s guess if the water will test clean enough for swimming.

Park staff are trying everything from pitching rocks to harassment with laser lights to shoo the geese away. But they keep coming back. Euthanasia may be the only option, Hartt said, but he’s not given up yet on milder measures.

“The last step, if it continues to be a problem, we’ll eliminate them,” Hartt said. But he is not talking about opening a hunting season in a state park: The U.S. Department of Agriculture would send in its specialists to euthanize the geese, Hartt said.

The swimming beach is one of the most popular features in one of the state’s most popular parks. Shutting it in August last year spoiled vacation plans long in the making for many. The beach hasn’t been open since.

A snow fence so far has not been enough to deter Canadian geese from the shores of Cranberry Lake. Chucking rocks and hazing them with lights hasn't worked, either.  Photo by staff photographer Bettina Hansen

A snow fence so far has not been enough to deter Canadian geese from the shores of Cranberry Lake. Chucking rocks and hazing them with lights hasn’t worked, either.
Photo by staff photographer Bettina Hansen

0 Comments | Topics: Deception Pass, geese, state park

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