The Resident Canada Goose in South Carolina

Canada Geese in stormwater pond

Canada geese are becoming more and more of a fixture along the shorelines of many of South Carolina’s waterbodies. These waterbodies may be residential stormwater ponds, publicly accessed lakes, or on the banks of urban rivers or streams. Geese prefer many of same landscape features that we do: open, grassy areas near water. For that reason, most South Carolinians are accustomed to sharing their open spaces with a small population of resident and migrating geese.

Access to open water with little threat from predators can have the potential to quickly increase Canada geese populations, resulting in non-migratory, resident Canada geese. This imbalance has the potential to harm human health and damage the environment. These problems are all compounded when the rapid increase of geese populations is considered. Geese populations can DOUBLE THEIR POPULATION EVERY FIVE YEARS. The strong honing instinct of Canada geese means that the same goose will return to its birthplace annually to nest and hatch the next generation.

The following two H2Ownership fact sheets have been produced to assist property owners, homeowner associations, property management companies, and communities in addressing the conditions that result in expanding resident Canada goose populations in South Carolina. 

  1. Resident Canada Geese: Along the Waterfront- brief information the Canada Goose, water quality and public health concerns, and information for communities seeking assistance. A good handout for neighborhoods and property owners!
  2. Residential Canada Geese: Management Options- a more detailed fact sheet with overview of the 3 factors that define your management strategy and options, the physical, cultural and regulatory.

There are many agencies and companies who can assist in Canada geese management decision-making, which should always be a multi-pronged approach and include all stakeholders early on in the process.