Letter: More on waterfowl migration
I am writing to comment on Scott Rall's Friday column regarding the waterfowl working their way to Worthington. This would appear to be a column to educate the local people about the migration, and I would like to add a few things as someone who ...
I am writing to comment on Scott Rall's Friday column regarding the waterfowl working their way to Worthington. This would appear to be a column to educate the local people about the migration, and I would like to add a few things as someone who has seen a few more migrations than Mr. Rall and would like folks to know a bit more about it.
I grew up in Heron Lake, so I had the opportunity to see a lot of the migration in both spring and fall. In my early years Canada geese were not all that common a sight, but lots of other waterfowl certainly were. The Canada goose being a common sight came about as a result of a few specimens of the Giant Canada goose being discovered in a flock of geese near Rochester, Minn., and everyone starting to raise them as a sort of animal husbandry project. They have grown from this husbandry to the point where they can hardly be considered to be wild fowl any longer, but rather a half-tame bird that lives near us and causes problems that we have to deal with.
Because of their early arrival here (if they haven't stayed all winter) in the spring and early nesting habit, they preempt nesting sites and vigorously defend them from all other ground nesting waterfowl who arrive later, thus influencing the nesting success of those waterfowl adversely. Now this would seem to be a problem for the DNR to deal with, but the truth of the matter is that the DNR doesn't seem to care any more about wildfowl diversity -- but only about having some species plentiful enough to provide a huntable population that will encourage license and stamp sales. This we certainly have today, and today's hunter (better defined as shooter) is perfectly happy as long as he has something to shoot at.
So, if you are happy to have something to shoot at, go ahead and rejoice, but if you are tired of seeing nothing but Canada Geese anymore better let the DNR know that you are tired of watching them manage for a huntable or fishable population of a particular species (walleye or Canada goose) instead of for wildlife diversity and the good health of the natural resources of the state.