Geese, Ducks, and Ponds

Canadian Geese and Wild Ducks in your Pond

Aug 12, 2013 – We all enjoy watching and listening to Canadian Geese migrate. Its great to have them fly in and vacation in your pond, however, like any visitor, if there are too many of them, or if they out stay their welcome, then they become a nuisance.

Pond owners are frequently asking us two questions;

  • What are some ways they can limit the number of Canadian Geese visitors?
  • How should they maintain their ponds to deal with the increased amount of Goose droppings?

Waste matter from runoff and pond waste droppings cause a depletion of oxygen in the water and the additional levels of organic matter promote the growth of unwanted aquatic vegetation and pond algae. Some pond owners are hosting up to 100 geese in their pond at any one time.

Once geese have noted your pond on their virtual maps its difficult to get them to change their annual vacation plans so you may be stuck with them for a while. There does not seem to be any quick fix to this problem so here are some preventative measure suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of food around the pond (Canadian Geese love grass turf).
  • Keep the banks of your pond steep so that its difficult for them to get in and out of the water.
  • Get a pet, border collies have been known to be extremely good chasers of geese and geese do not like to be harassed.
  • Install overhead wires to prevent the geese from flying into the pond is an extreme measure but can work.
  • Keep your pond frozen over in the winter.
  • Do not feed the geese.
  • Avoid planting certain crops, crops such as corn and soybeans are favorites of geese, if you are planting these you may want to consider planting them away from the pond.
  • Remove old goose nests.
  • Install a fence around the perimeter of your pond or plant shrubs around it. Geese like to move easily from water to food and this can act as a deterrent.

Try a multitude of these ideas for best results. You may also want to consider aerating your pond to help manage the decomposition process of your geese droppings. This will prevent your pond from growing over with algae and it will keep your fish alive. Pond aeration keeps water healthy and clean and burns off excess organic matter that is derived from the additional waste entering a pond. Windmill pond aeration is an excellent solution that only requires the wind to operate – eliminating any costs of operation.

Remember that Canada Geese are a protected species by state and federal law which requires pond owners to have a valid permit authorizing any restricted activities. For more information you may want to contact your regional Wildlife Service Office.