Murfreesboro handling issues with geese population, dead fish at - WSMV News 4

Murfreesboro handling issues with geese population, dead fish at Gateway Island

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Crews have been picking out hundreds of dead fish at the man-made lake. (11-1-17) Crews have been picking out hundreds of dead fish at the man-made lake. (11-1-17)
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A man-made pond in Murfreesboro is handling some woes with wildlife. Crews have been out every day this week to handle some problems at Gateway Island.

"Me and the kids love to come out here," said Murfreesboro mom Jessica Haney on a walk around Gateway Island Wednesday.

The past few days, something's been spoiling the perfect picture on her walks.

"It was really gross looking," she said, looking at dead fish washed up along the edge of the water. "Dead fish are always gross even on the lake."

For three days, Murfreesboro crews have been picking up hundreds of dead fish.

"Must be a big job to do," Haney said.

A rep for the city said they believe a drastic shift in temperature may have briefly changed the water's oxygen levels, while fish released into the pond by the public may have overpopulated. This isn't the only wildlife issue being handled.

"There were a lot of geese that would gather in large groups, and if you got too close to them, they'd come running at you," Haney said. "They were bigger than my daughter who's almost 6."

"They do get aggressive and territorial when they're raising their young," said Rachel Singer of Murfreesboro Parks and Rec. "This is just a human, wildlife conflict that we're encountering more and more as the city grows."

Singer said the Canada Geese have posed a problem both from their aggressiveness and their droppings.

"It can carry E.coli and listeria and salmonella," she said.

The city entered into a contract with USDA to handle the problem in the spring.

"All of their tactics are humane," Singer said. "They use paintball guns and air horns, and it's just to create some stress so they will move on."

Singer said they have experienced push back from some in the community about using paintball guns. She said the paintballs are usually shot into the water just to scare the geese. She said they're working with certified wildlife biologists to send the geese on their way in the most humane way possible.

News 4 didn't see any Canada Geese at Gateway Island at all Wednesday.

Haney said neither issue will slow her walks.

"Not really," she said. "It's still pretty pleasant. I love it out here."

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