Goose Management Initiative Near Fifth Avenue Dam

geese on olentangy river

photo by David Patrick

In the coming weeks, residents of Harrison West may notice goose-management activity in the area of the Fifth Avenue Dam/Olentangy River restoration project. On Wednesday, March 24, 2014, personnel with the United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services (USDA) and under contract with the city of Columbus will begin using a number of strategies to discourage geese from taking up residence along the Olentangy River where the city is currently attempting to reseed, plant and establish native species. The seeding and planting of native grasses, bushes and trees protects the banks from erosion and provides additional slowing and filtration of storm water before it enters the river.

Efforts last year such as installing wooden stakes with Mylar strips attached and deploying plastic coyotes met with only limited success. Starting Wednesday morning, the USDA will add to these partially successful strategies additional methods for dispersing the geese. Their efforts will continue over the next several months until grasses and plants are established in the area. Among such methods is firing noisemakers from devices that look like starter pistols. The noisemakers are designed to land among congregating geese and either give off whistling sounds or explode. The exploding noisemakers have been nicknamed “bird bangers.” Noisemakers deployed at the southern end of the project area close to West Fifth Avenue may be audible to neighbors and may cause concern. The city has provided this document to help answer any questions residents may have about this initiative.

USDA representatives will be easily identifiable; they will be wearing brightly colored clothing, and they will be placing signage along the river corridor notifying the public of upcoming activities. They will conduct weekly surveys of the area, recording observations and gauging the status and effectiveness of their efforts.


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