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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Goose hunt cruel, unnecessary
To the editor:
Honeymoon Lake’s community board has renewed their contract with the USDA wildlife services to eliminate Canadian geese from the lake again this summer. In the middle of the night at the end of June last year, shots rang out and two pairs of geese and their goslings were killed in time for summer barbecues. And now it is going to happen all over again.
This year we once again have two pairs of Canadian geese, one pair with three goslings and one pair with none, slated for death, since it is too late for addling the eggs or chasing them off. I have been told that 10 years ago all the geese were eliminated, as one pair could have as many as 20 goslings and those 20 would return and have 20 more and on and on into infinity. Having lived here on the lake front for the last 10 years, I can tell you that that is not true.
Every summer the same thing happens. While geese are regional, only one or two pair decide to stay though the summer and raise their goslings; they are not resident geese, but fly off in the fall and join the migrating flocks, or have up until last year. Does the Honeymoon Lake community board really want to pay hundreds of dollars to eliminate such few geese every summer or have these good people been sold a bill of goods by a few self serving individuals with pristine lawns?
Geese are grazers, short clipped grass on the dam and lawns are their favorite diet. Could the money be better spent in landscaping that is not so attractive to the geese, such as planting some attractive bushes here and there where a goose might think a predator could be hiding? Perhaps stepping in some goose or duck poop and doing some clean up is part of the price one pays to live by a lake. Why not enjoy the abundant and amazing variety of wildlife here on our beautiful lake that make it and our property all the more valuable?
I love to hear the sound of the geese calling across the water, and dread that night coming in June, like last year when I heard shots ring out and the mournful cries of the geese that still ring in my ears and bring tears to my eyes. I believe that while Honeymoon Lake is a private community, it doesn’t own the wildlife there, they are free flowing and enhance the quality of all our lives on Whidbey Island. I am hoping that if enough people let Honeymoon community know how they feel, the board might reconsider and withdraw the contract out on the geese now and in the future.
The few geese that summer here and the migrating flocks who stop by for a rest during the winter are not a problem for the lake. Honeymoon Lake water quality is tested regularly and the quality remains excellent; we are not to be compared to Lake Washington as some want to do, that is ridiculous. You might want to drive by and enjoy the sight of a pair of stately Canadian geese and their three goslings sitting in the sun on the dam of Honeymoon Lake but you had better not wait too long.