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City using bird deterrents at Kinosoo Beach to help lake’s water quality

The City of Cold Lake is using bird deterrents at Kinosoo Beach to try and improve the lake’s water quality. Image credit: City of Cold Lake. 

Birds that like to hang out at Kinosoo Beach are in for a rude awakening.

The City has installed bird deterrents as of last night on the beach to combat the growing bird population along the lakeshore.

In part, these systems are meant to lessen the impact these birds could have on the fecal matter warnings that have plagued Cold Lake since Alberta Health Service’s advisory on July 10, said CAO Kevin Nagoya.

“The beach has its Health Advisory on there that some of the bacteria and stuff in the water is just a little bit high. In order to curb some of that and some of the contributors is the waterfowl that’s there. We’re looking at the alternative options to address those,” he said.

This suitcase object will be kept at Kinosoo Beach to deter birds from coming near the shoreline. Image credit: City of Cold Lake.

The City is using a kite disguised as a hawk which gives the impression of a predator and a suitcase looking item to help move the birds.

The first test yesterday seemed to work, said Nagoya.

“Anytime that it’s [the kite] about two miles per hour or higher this thing will deploy and it’s sitting up there so the birds are staring at it and then the actual audio noise that’s there is kind of another fellow, a gull, and you can set them up for different types of species that you know that might be in distress or that are having problems,” said Nagoya.

“As soon as the first time we launched it, yesterday afternoon and evening, all the birds dissipated in a quick hurry to get out of there.”

Nagoya said that multiple deterrence systems are needed because the birds become accustomed to the changes over time.

Then, the City will monitor the effects that fewer birds near the lakeshore could have in improving Cold Lake’s water quality.

Cold Lake still under AHS warnings

The July 10 water quality advisory is still in effect at Cold Lake.

On July 25, the City said that waterfowl was thought to be a contributor in the test results, and reminded residents not to feed the birds at the lake, and that the proper disposal of all waste, including waste from pets, RVs and campers, as well as household chemicals, paint and other toxic materials, helps to keep the community clean.

Bags of dog feces were also found by city staff in the storm catch basins, the city said, especially in the Nelson Heights area, which is also thought to be a contributing factor.

“The water quality is kind of a key source of the issue down there. The beach is seeing its challenges. I was also seeing markers that are related to canine dogs. Dogs are out there from the feces that are there, and maybe in the drainage system. So there’s multiple things that we have to look at as a community to make sure that the water sources is of quality,” said Nagoya.

Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After last week said anybody that’s been on the beach this year has noticed the seagulls home.

“The seagulls are presenting a big problem. There seems this year there’s a ton of them. Not too sure why that is this year,” said Copeland.

“I know the staff is going to put something on the beach to deter the seagulls and maybe that’s leading to issues with our water quality results on the lake,” he said.

During conversations at last Tuesday’s city council meeting, Nagoya said that there were human markers that came up in the fecal matter warnings in Cold Lake as well.

The City asks that these deterrent systems not be picked up by residents.

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