Waterfowl & Wetlands

Canada Goose Spring Population Estimate, 2011

Canada geese were surveys on 163 two-mile plots in Iowa, 69 of which were located in Iowa's portion of the prairie pothole region and the rest randomly in the state. The estimated number of geese was 105,738, statistically  unchanged for the past 6 years. Thirty percent of the goose population live in 18 percent of the goose nesting habitat of the prairie pothole region when muskrat house offer good nesting and loafing sites for geese. The rest nest on floodplain wetlands and ponds where nests are vulnerable to heavy rain events and predators. The Annual Process of Developing Waterfowl Hunting Regulations
Migratory game bird regulations are governed by a cooperative process involving Iowa government rules, nationally with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and internationally with Canada under the Migratory Game Bird Treaty. This is a step by step process that begins in January of each year and must be followed in order that the waterfowl seasons are allowed to open each fall.

The Giant Canada Goose Population in Iowa, 2000

Giant Canada geese had disappeared from the continental U.S. by the 1930s. In 1964 a restoration program began with 16 pairs of pinioned giant Canada geese in a 14-acre pen. The young were permitted to fly and use surrounding habitats. The program grew until now the highest densities of nesting giant Canada geese are in northwest and north central Iowa.

Conservation Order Light Goose Harvest in Iowa Jan. 14 - Apr. 14, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established a conservation order to increase the harvest of mid-continent light geese (lesser snow and Ross's geese). The Service and the Flyway Councils believed number of these light geese exceeded the carrying capacity of their breeding habitat. The Iowa DNR promulgated roles to permit the taking of light geese in Iowa during that same period. Ninety-nine percent of the light geese harvested in Iowa were taken during that time. The normal Iowa season opened Sept. 24, 2011.

Iowa Canada Goose Management Plan, 2002

Giant Canada geese are long-lived birds with low reproductive rates and high survival rates. Primarily grazers, they prefer the new growth of grasses, sedges, and forbs. A sustainable annual harvest of 60,000 Canada geese from a 100,000 population provides a high level of recreational opportunities. Private landowners may hunt the geese of their properties within closed areas. The DNR is charged with controlling injurious goose activities. Regional and local population estimates gauge the long-term effectiveness of population control programs.

Iowa Canada Goose Management Plan - Executive Summary, 2002