The Parksville Qualicum Fish and Game Association wishes to voice our support for the decision by Mayor Marc Lefebvre and the Parksville city council to go ahead with the goose cull approved in June 2015.
Two of our members who were among the volunteers who participated in this exercise have reported it to be very well co-ordinated and successful in meeting the objective.
One of our members was active in the process from “herding” through to the final butchering of the birds for consumption by the K’omoks First Nation and raptors at the local wildlife recovery centre. He has reported the whole process from beginning to end as slow moving, well planned and relaxed, seeing none of the stress for the birds that some of the critics have alluded to.
Lefebvre and council deserve praise for the strength to make and carry out a hard decision. Also, the Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries that were hired as contractors deserve credit for delivering a first class service. Obviously, the public are divided philosophically on the issue but these non-migratory Canada geese have seriously overgrazed the Oceanside estuaries, decimating juvenile salmon rearing habitat. Corrective action was long overdue.
These geese were introduced to enhance hunting opportunity but since the creation of the Wildlife Conservation Area on our local beach in 1993, effectively ending any migratory bird hunting in that area, we must take responsibility for the problem of Canada goose overpopulation ourselves. Many of the general public have noted this and suggest reinstating goose hunting. I suggest some of our members could offer a responsible and sustainable remedy of carefully prescripted hunting opportunities as part of a well-rounded program of hazing, addling and/or a cull.
Regardless of our personal feelings one thing is clear, until these goose numbers are drastically reduced there will be a need for future action because they breed so prolifically with little predation.
So let’s take it easy on the Parksville council on this. The families enjoying our parks, playgrounds and beaches are all thankful and nobody misses the geese. The fry from our local rivers sure won’t either.
Richard Thompson, president,
Parksville Qualicum Fish and Game Association