Both the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of Natural Resources have been been working to restore 275 acres of wild rice to the St. Louis River. However, a big thing standing in the way of a bountiful wild rice harvest are gaggles of geese.

The geese have become such a problem that this area is officially on a national list of polluted Great Lakes waterways. The plan is simple, get rid of the geese to get the area off that list, then vast amounts of wild rice will once again be able to be harvested.

According to StarTribune, they have tried various other things in an effort to get the geese to leave. These efforts have included deploying decoys, disturbances from kayakers, egg addling (hatching prevention) and fencing. However, once the geese are scared off they simply return again. Ultimately, nothing has worked to this point so more drastic measures have been approved.

As a last resort, a significant number of geese will be killed. As many as 300 of the birds will be euthanized next summer by the DNR, which will give the native rice a chance to thrive in the future.

This plan is nothing new, as the StarTribune reports about 80 geese were euthanized in 2021 in Superior's Allouez Bay. Shortly thereafter, those efforts paid off and and wild rice returned once again to the bay. That wild rice can now be harvested and that is exactly what the future should hold for Duluth's St. Louis River once this geese issue is taken care of.

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