November 22, 2014
It's roundup time in northern Nevada, but it's not the rodeo. This roundup is for Canada geese, which pose a threat to planes at the Reno airport and who leave nasty leftovers in and around Lake Tahoe.
Wildlife officials are calling this year's annual goose roundup in the Reno area a honking success. They wrapped up their work on Tuesday by gathering up about 45 of the birds. In all, some 300 have been collected in the Reno-Sparks area.
The Federal Aviation Administration initially ordered the roundups in 1986 because of the threat the large birds pose to aircraft.
Since the geese are molting, they don't have the primary feathers to fly and are herded into wire cages to be taken to remote game refuges in eastern Nevada.
The bird wranglers turned to Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, gathering
81 geese on the Nevada side of the lake with possibly hundreds more
A 10-pound bird can excrete up to five times an hour totaling an average of four pounds of nutrient-rich droppings every day it waddles across the beaches, lawns and golf courses of Tahoe.
Nutrients feed algae growth in Lake Tahoe and are thought to be almost half the problem in the lake's declining water clarity. The other half is fine sediment.