Problems caused by Canada geese have gotten worse in recent years for local farmers. (Black Press Media file photo)

Canada geese a scourge on Greater Victoria farmers

Immediate and long-term solutions needed, says Saanich farmer

As far as farmers are concerned, the Canada geese introduced to the region in the ’50s and ’60s have long overstayed their welcome.

Saanich farmer Rob Galey noted that while the geese have been an ongoing issue for 30 years, the problem has exacerbated significantly since the geese began foraging at night three years or so ago. Going out in the middle of the night to chase them away is not a popular option with people nearby because of the noise they make, he explained.

“In the early spring they can take out an acre of early crops in an hour,” Galey said. “It’s a huge financial hardship, extra workload and lots of mental stress. The mental stress is what really starts to get us us.”

It’s a constant battle that involves covering seedlings in the spring, installing fences, and running stringer lines to keep the geese from landing. “In the fall when they start to put on their winter fat, they wreak havoc with potatoes and carrots.”

Saanich Coun. Colin Plant, who chairs of the Capital Regional Board, agrees the geese have become a scourge on local farmers.

“The farmers have asked for help every year since I was elected five-and-a-half years ago,” Plant said.

ALSO READ: Regional district’s Esquimalt land sale means $3.7M back to municipalities

“The geese have a significant impact on our parks and waters as well,” he said, adding that closures of Beaver and Elk lakes are often caused by geese droppings in the water. Efforts to get the federal and provincial governments to take on the problem as part of wildlife management responsibilities have not received a positive response, Plant noted, so he’s asking CRD staff to prepare a report on a regional solution. The CRD Parks Committee unanimously approved a motion that would have staff work with farmers on a report.

“What would it look like, what would it cost,” Plant explained. “It would likely be through an egg-addling program. We need to do this across the entire region because geese don’t respect municipal borders.”

Galey said it’s good to see the Capital Regional District looking into the situation. “I’m glad someone is finally dealing with it. Someone has to take responsibility.”

He doesn’t believe egg-addling, which involves shaking eggs in their nests to stop the embryo from developing, will yield noticeable results. “But something has to be done immediately,” Galey stressed.

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said even though Colwood doesn’t have a lot of farmland, he has heard more complaints about the geese since they have started to remain in the city all year. “I strongly support the CRD taking a regional approach to a solution,” Martin said.

The CRD board will decide on approving whether to go ahead on preparing a report at the Aug. 12 meeting.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Farming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney joins federal government in Reay Creek improvements

Coun. Chad Rintoul says contract to renovate Reay Creek dam makes him ‘nervous’

Mysterious Brazilian honey barrel appears at Saanich intersection

Barrel spotted on West Saanich Road part of intersection construction project, district says

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help B.C. boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Central Vancouver Island’s Green Mountain fire under full control

Fire fighters still monitoring site between Cowichan Lake and Nanaimo River

5 B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Most Read