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

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

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read