Resident Canada Geese

By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are a modern success story for wildlife management. In Ohio, there are several races that migrate through the state in the early spring and late fall, but the giant Canada goose is the race that commonly nests and breeds in Ohio. True to its name, the giant Canada goose is the largest of all the races; a full grown adult averages 11–13 pounds. These local geese are often referred to as “resident geese” and have limited to no migration patterns. These resident geese populations are mostly responsible for the conflicts and problems associated with geese today. 

At one time, numbers of Canada geese were in decline.  However, time and the actions of various wildlife agencies have brought their numbers in Ohio to well over 100,000 individuals.  Unfortunately, this dramatic increase in population has resulted in some negative consequences including contributing to excess nutrients and bacteria in our lake which encourage nuisance weeds and harmful algae. 

Did you ever wonder how the geese that are congregating on our beaches and in your backyard are affecting the ecology of our lake?  Considering each goose can produce 1 to 2 pounds of droppings each day, and a giant Canada goose may poop 28 times a day, it doesn’t look good for homeowners – or our lake.

By April we have seen geese pair up to select nesting sites typically found near the lake within direct sight of the water.  To limit geese production your Lake Management Committee notes these nest sites for a timely visit by ODNR-licensed individuals to addle the eggs.  Addling is a humane process to prevent eggs from hatching while encouraging geese to continue incubating their eggs and not re-nesting.  If eggs or nest are removed before the goose has satisfied the nesting instinct, it will simply build another nest and lay additional eggs.  Association residents that discover goose nests on their properties or nearby recreational areas could report the sites by email or telephone to the RRA Office ( or 440-563-3170) to arrange for egg addling.

You will be hearing much more about geese conflict management and damage prevention strategies from your Lake Management Committee this summer including some techniques to help keep the resident geese moving along out of our area. 

Love our lake and be lake responsible.

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