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Lake Merritt Geese Lead To Fowl Complaints In Oakland

OAKLAND (KCBS) - Oakland residents have been dropping more and more complaints with the city about what the Lake Merritt geese leave behind.

More residents have been crying fowl since improvements around the lake started bringing more people down to the waterfront three years ago.

"Here are these capital improvements that have been made, and it would appear that the geese are destroying what we just recently completed," said Jim Ryugo, the city's building services manager.

He said the geese like the new grass just as much as the people do, adding that bird waste is not a new issue. But the calls and emails have gotten more frequent as the lake has attracted more locals.

KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:

For every city dweller tired of watching where to step, there was a tourist delighted to see the birds and not put off by their loud calls.

During the summer months, the city is home to some 2,000 migratory geese. The few who stay in Oakland year round enjoy protection under federal and state law.

That leaves the city with limited options for controlling the droppings.

Ryugo said he would like to mow the grass around Lake Merritt more often than once every three weeks, but his budget simply won't allow it.

"We just don't have enough staff to mow, say, once a week," he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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