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Game and Fish to Issue Experimental Canada Goose Depredation

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Game and Fish to Issue Experimental Canada Goose Depredation Permits (7/3/2002)
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has received authorization to issue up to 100 permits that allow agricultural producers in North Dakota to use selected lethal control as a deterrent for Canada geese that are destroying crops.

The experimental permits, authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will go to producers who have had chronic crop depredation by Canada geese, and have exhausted other prevention methods prescribed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, according to Greg Link, assistant chief of wildlife for the game and fish department.

Each permit allows a producer, or persons designated by the producer, to kill up to 20 Canada geese that are damaging agricultural crops during July. Since only 100 permits are available this year, Game and Fish is issuing them to producers who are sustaining the most severe depredation, Link said.

"The intent of the program is to focus on Canada goose depredations associated with agricultural commodity crops, not nuisance geese on golf courses, city parks, or housing developments," Link said.

Other states have used these special permits as a tool in dealing with Canada goose depredation, Link noted. "While we have avoided using this harassment technique in the past, problems with geese have grown to a point where we need to try this on a trial basis. We need to determine its effectiveness when used in combination with other methods already used for minimizing and alleviating crop damage by Canada geese in our state. This program is not a hunting season and is not intended to be a means of population control."

If the permits prove to be a useful tool, Link said, Game and Fish will make them available in future years during May, June and July.
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