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Geese in Cedar Rapids at Sunner Park
Goose Management

Since 1996 Iowa Department of Natural Resources personnel have assisted the City of Cedar Rapids with active goose management. From a habitat standpoint, the Cedar Rapids area is attractive to a growing goose population due to the Cedar River and associated backwater areas along with numerous in-town and surrounding agricultural areas. Numerous attempts to deter geese have been conducted but the over-arching problem remains the increasing population of Canadian geese in Canada and the Midwest due to lack of natural predators and productive habitats. The Cedar Rapids geese population is estimated to be more than 2,000.


Actions taken:

  • Geese at the McGrath AmphitheatreUpland habitats adjacent to wetlands within city limits have been designed and modified to make them less attractive to Canada geese, particularly during the nesting season.
  • Harassment tools including distress calls, lasers, decoys, grape spray, and remote control scare devices (FIDO) have been used with limited results. 
  • Feeding of waterfowl by the public has been discouraged and prevented through the adoption of and enforcement of a city ordinance.
  • Geese Round Up: The IDNR has partnered with Parks and Golf staff to conduct roundups during mid-June when adult birds molt their flight feathers, making flight impossible. Biologists load the geese into specially designed trailers that separate the geese by age and allow for safe transport to lakes around the state. It is estimated the IDNR have hauled approximately 6,434 geese from the City of Cedar Rapids over the last 19 years. 
Egg oiling has not been implemented, but was attempted by the IDNR in 2004 and 2005. Primary nesting areas within Cedar Rapids are full of swamps, backwaters and beaver spears, making the process dangerous to implement. Within Iowa, volunteers cannot be used to egg oil, but it must be conducted with staff and overseen by a trained Iowa Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. This method basically replaces translocating goslings but only impacts goose recruitment for that particular year.


Waterfowl Hunt

Controlled Canada goose hunting is recommended by the IDNR wherever possible within city limits. It is contained to tracts of agricultural land or open spaces where hunting can take place without posing any danger to people. Geese hunting will encourage geese to move out of the city limits, reduce the number of urban geese acting as a migrant call flock, and will ultimately discourage migrant geese from staging or wintering in the city limits.

Requirements:

  • Goose hunt mapAll hunters must be licensed through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • Hunters must act in accordance with all rules and regulations of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 
  • The city does not issue any permits or provide training for this, it is regulated completely by the IDNR.
  • Hunting is allowed only within the city limits southwest of I-380 and south of Hwy 30.
  • Hunting is allowed only on private, undeveloped land within the city limits. Hunters must obtain permission from private land owners before hunting.
  • No city land is open to hunting waterfowl.

Map of hunting area
Find the dates of waterfowl seasons at: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

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