Published - Thursday, February 21, 2008

Council bans goose feeding on lake, plans summer kill

SPARTA, Wis. — Canada geese in Sparta will be rounded up and killed this summer as part of a plan to manage what officials claim is a growing number of the birds fouling the city.

The Sparta City Council also unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that bans humans from feeding all waterfowl around Perch Lake.
The ordinance, which sparked some controversy when unveiled in January, is aimed at curbing the goose population in the municipal golf course and city park.

About 100 geese nest around the lake each summer, city workers said, creating a nuisance and health hazard because they leave feces on fairways and playgrounds. During migration, the population swells to nearly 500, wildlife officials said.

The goose management plan also calls for letting grass grow tall around the lake in hopes it will keep the geese out of the parks, having city workers coat the birds’ eggs with corn oil to prevent them from hatching and perhaps issuing some permits to allow hunting within the city during the regular fall goose season.

The plan announced in January did not call for the more drastic and costly roundup of geese for killing. That element later was added in a Park Committee meeting, said City Administrator Ken Witt.

The roundup will be done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and may draw the ire of animal rights activists who have protested similar actions in other communities, including Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Rochester, Minn.

Chris Hubbuch can be reached at or (608)


Please write letters or protest to Mayor John Sund Jr. and Aldermen
Theodore Radde, Kay Bender, Gary Peterson, Norman Stanek, Connie Anderson, Mark Richgruber, Dave Kempfer, and Bruce Savall at the City Clerk's email address:

Please send your letter to City Administrator Kenneth Witt as well. His email address is:

Encourage the city administrators to utilize HUMANE METHODS OF GEESE POPULATION CONTROL.