Nuisance Species

Nuisance Fish & Wildlife


geese on lakeshore

This is not a reference to certain neighbors or family members. It applies to animals that may be appealing in other settings - but not sharing the lakeshore with you and your family.

This group includes muskrats, Canada geese, and even mallard ducks (particularly in urban areas) that are capable of damaging your lawn or degrading your living area.


Canada geese will not enter tall vegetation because they think predators lurk within, so replacing turf with native plants will automatically address too many geese in your yard.

This story is told at Buffalo Lake.

fencing in lake to keep out nuisance species

While the young plants in your restoration project are becoming established, some extra protection from geese and ducks may be necessary, because they like to uproot and feed on the young plants.

goose tape

A chicken wire fence will help protect the aquatic plants. Reflective tape (goose tape) tied at various locations around an upland fence adds another defense system.

Goose tape, made from shimmering reflective material, can be purchased at yard and garden stores. Tie strips of tape that hang vertically and are regularly spaced from a horizontal row of tape stretched across stakes.

muskrat damage to native species

Muskrats are not a threat to children or pets, but their burrows can interfere with lawn mowing. Most burrows do not extend more than about 10 feet from the water's edge, but if the lawn extends to the water's edge, the tires of the mower collapse into the burrows and disfigure the neat lawn. With a shoreland buffer in place, muskrat burrows are not a problem because the area will no longer require mowing.

Muskrat as well as carp can cause damage to aquatic plants (photo left). If either are a severe enough problem, exclosure barriers are recommended to keep them out of areas where you are trying to establish aquatics.

wire fencing around natives

Plastic coated hardware fencing with metal sign post stakes is used to keep muskrats and carp out (photo right). The fencing should extend to the bottom of the lake.

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