Blame Canada geese for recent sliming of Chestnut Hill Reservoir

The MWRA is looking at steps to prevent a recurrence of the recent blue-green-algae infestation in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir that include treating the water with alum, which basically prevents the organisms from obtaining the phosphorus they need, and figuring out what to do about Canada geese, which that poop out the stuff like nobody's business.

In a message posted to reservoir and Allston/Brighton forums, MWRA Director Fred Laskey said an outbreak that popped up last month - the second this year - seems to have largely subsided on its own and that water testing showed no trace of the dog-killing, people-sickening toxins normally associated with the ancient life form.

Laskey said his experts are pretty sure the phosphorus comes out of the rear end of geese, because the reservoir - now used as a water source only in emergency situations has virtually no watershed, "with no storm drains or road run-off getting into the water:"

On any given day, 50 to 100 geese can be seen in and around the reservoir. A simple walking inspection along the reservoir perimeter path shows large amounts of goose droppings, which are known to be high in phosphorus and other nutrients. I should also point out that there is no other major source of nutrients getting into the reservoir. The reservoir has a very small tributary area with no storm drains or road run-off getting into the water. We have discussed control options with our partners at DCR: this is still developing. One short-term action is the installation of signs about the geese issues and warnings against feeding them. You will likely see these go up soon.



    Free tagging: 



    By on

    There's only 50-100 of them. Just shoot them, problem solved.

    Not so simple

    By on

    All species of Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; however, if you are a landowner, homeowner’s association, public land manager, or local government in the lower 48 states or the District of Columbia, you may be able to register for federal authorization to destroy resident Canada Goose nests and eggs on property under your jurisdiction.

    The Depredation Order authorizes landowners and local governments who register with the FWS to destroy resident Canada goose nests and eggs on their property from March 1-June 30, when necessary, to resolve or prevent injury to people, property, agricultural crops, or other interests.

    Although nest and egg treatment/destruction is useful to curb population growth at a local scale, it
    should not be relied upon for immediate population reductions. Geese are long-lived birds (10-25 years in the wild) and they have a single, defined nesting season. Research indicates that elimination of nesting in a large scale regional effort would have to be conducted over many years before population stabilization would even occur.

    MIgratory Shmigratory

    By on

    Those birds stopped migrating about 20+ years ago. No containing the word "Migratory" should apply.

    I'm so sick of the government

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    I'm so sick of the government blaming migrants seeking a better life for all our problems!

    These poor souls from Canada are fleeing famine and people hunting them in their homeland.

    Why can't we accept them and take them under our wing?

    Natural predators..

    By on

    They could bring in coyotes to control the goose population, then when the coyotes become too numerous, they can bring in bears to get rid of the coyotes, then lions to control the bears, then dentists to shoot the lions, then public shame to control the dentists.