The city said it had to do something to reduce the dangers of aircraft collision and the fouling of reservoir and recreational water, and the options were limited. The Altus City Council decided at a May 3rd meeting to do something about the Canada goose population at Altus reservoir before it caused serious problems.
“Due to the increasing population of the residential Canada geese there were increased concerns about potential strikes on area aircraft and, also negative impacts on the environment and the recreational areas,” said Assistant City Manager Matt Wojnowski. “The city decided to reduce those risks and negative impacts. Some concerns about the water quality and the recreational atmosphere.”
Anna Kristen Gadoury said she enjoyed seeing the geese at the reservoir and said she wishes they hadn’t had them euthanized but understands why it was done.
“We love walking around the reservoir and my children like feeding the geese. It’s a fun part of our walks in the morning, but I don’t particularly love stepping in their poop or them being all around our drinking water,” Gadoury said. “It sure would have been nice if they had transported them someplace. Allowed them to live rather than euthanize them. But I understand if they are hurting our drinking water, I would much prefer to have good clean drinking water.”
Wojnowski says relocation was not a viable option.
“Some people have mentioned the possibility of relocating the geese and unfortunately the USDA advised against that because they would most likely would have relocated back to the reservoir area,” Wojnowski said.
Wojnowski said with a large number of the geese removed from the city, planes can continue to take off and land safely and the residents can enjoy clean water. The geese that were removed were non-migratory and were permanent residents of the reservoir. Wojnowski said this is a long-term solution and does not think they will have to address this problem again in the near future.