Goose barbecue would solve Atascadero Lake’s problem

Special to The TribuneApril 1, 2013 

A goose walks through Atascadero Lake Park on Monday while casting a wary eye backwards.


There are signs around Atascadero Lake reminding responsible pet owners to pick up the deposits left by their animals along the hiking path and in the park itself. This practice appears to have caught on as I witness folks with plastic bags protruding from their pockets go by with the family pooch, ready to instantly pounce on fresh poop.

The practice has caused me never to own a dog I have to walk in a public place.

But there is a larger problem than dog droppings in and around the lake. In fact, it is much more disgusting than Fido scat.

I’m talking about the geese.

The approximately 50 to 60 geese are free to relieve themselves wherever they please, and that includes the concrete entrance to the Pavilion on the Lake and even on the fresh new floor and sidewalk at the Centennial Bandstand nearing completion at the lake’s edge.

Efforts by city personnel barely keep up with the need to sweep and scrub those walkways to make them safe to navigate.

The noise the geese make shatters the otherwise peaceful silence of the Atascadero Lake Park.

Maybe the woman at the lake who feeds those geese could also don a plastic bag and pick up after the offensive fowl.

Another solution would be to erect a goose barrier around the park to keep them out.

Maybe we could round them all up and haul them to the Carrisa Plains and deposit them at Soda Lake. What, not a real lake? We wouldn’t tell the geese until we got them there. The geese could be stationed at the solar energy plants to help with insect and weed control.

Or how about a public barbecue featuring cooked goose? That way the whole community could benefit from the removal of the birds from the park and have a good meal at the same time.

It would be a win-win situation, except, of course, for the geese.

My love of geese is right up there next to how I feel about chickens. Only those of you who have followed this column over the years know the depths of my hatred of chickens. Geese are just bigger and more of a problem.

How come vandals never steal anything like geese? Doing so would make such a theft a public service.

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or

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