Bonduel struggles with geese at swimming pond

BONDUEL – Village officials are working to remove a family of Canada geese from a popular swimming pond.

The pond in Cedar Park is a hot spot in Bonduel for families to cool off.

The man-made swimming hole is fed by a natural spring, and the clear water attracts plenty of visitors.

“I think this is very nice we bring the kids here a couple times a month because it’s quiet, it’s clean,” said Kathy Hagen visiting with family for a swim and picnic.

But the latest visitors–Canada geese–are not welcome.

“This pair stopped in Spring and nested here and they spent the entire summer here and raised some young and I guess they made it home,” explained Steve Berndt, director of Municipal Operations in Bonduel.

Berndt is in charge of getting rid of the birds and their droppings that have been littering the area making the park, he says, a health hazard.

“So far we haven’t been successful. They’re still here. I guess they’re winning the war right now,” said Berndt.

With the help of a U. S. Department of Agriculture biologist, village officials tried to sedate the geese so they could easily round them up. But it didn’t work. So now they’re on to ‘Plan B.’

“We’re going to fabricate a large net or impound where we’ll get them to come into that,” said Berndt.

Berndt explained once a trap is set, and the birds are caught, they will be killed. Since they have already imprinted on the area, he says it’s the only way to prevent them from coming back.

The death sentence though doesn’t sit well with some.

“If they had a problem with it someone could just come and pick up their droppings or whatever,” said Holly Martin, visiting the pond with her children.

“Don’t they have something that they put in water like a buoy or something that has high pitched sounds to keep the geese and ducks away?” questioned Hagen, suggesting the village hasn’t considered all its options.

Berndt says he’s consulted with the USDA on the village’s options. He says action to get rid of the geese needs to take place now, otherwise the geese and their offspring will continue to come back and the problem will only multiple.

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