Nuisance Canada Goose Management

The Indiana DNR has provided new information about Canada goose management. The following are excerpts from the DNR web site at

Regulations and Community Actions

New rules went into effect in September 2006. The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife will still issue permits for agricultural depredation and trapping activities concerning resident Canada geese. However, landowners and managers of public lands can register directly with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service  to receive permission for egg and nest destruction activities. An annual report must be filed by October 31 of the same calendar year the nest and egg destruction was completed.

Nest and Egg Destruction

It is against federal law for anyone to destroy a Canada goose nest that contains one or more eggs without first securing permission through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Permission may be received by registering. Landowners must register each employee or agent working on their behalf.

Once registered, egg treatment or nest destruction can occur. Be cautious if attempting to conduct these activities yourself as Canada geese are very aggressive during the nesting period and may attack a person coming close to their nest. The only two methods of nest and egg destruction that are approved is the oiling of the eggs and the complete removal of the eggs and nest.

The eggs can be treated by using food grade corn oil only and placed back in the nest. This will trick the goose into sitting on the eggs for an extended time, but they will not hatch. The oil blocks the pores on the eggshell and the egg becomes unviable.

Nest removal with eggs present is an effective way to reduce goose reproduction and reduce the local goose population in the long-term. If the goose can be seen on the nest, remove the nest after she has been sitting on her eggs for 14 days. If the nest is taken earlier, she is likely to re-nest and lay new eggs, so it is important to wait for 14 days after the last egg is laid. It is probably better to leave the eggs a few days longer than two weeks, rather than take them too early.

If the goose cannot be seen on her nest, the following guidelines should be used. Remove any nests that contain eggs that are warm to the touch during the following periods:

From Lafayette north: The week of April 9th (about the second full week in April). From Lafayette south to Bedford: The week of April 2nd (about the first full week of April). From Bedford south to the Ohio River: The week of March 26th (the last full week of March).