Is one ensnared Canada goose worth saving?

goose.JPGKARE11 tells the story of Tina Long, a Minneapolis resident on a quest to save a Canada goose at Lake Harriet.

Long, who maintains a blog called Lake Harriet Mornings, noticed the injured goose two weeks ago while out taking pictures. She could see the bird struggling because of fish line wrapped tightly around its leg.

She posted her reaction on her blog:

Lake Harriet Goose Family has an injured member: fishing line caught on his leg. After trying many agencies, finally got a Conservation Officer from the DNR out to try and capture to treat the injured almost-grown-gosling this morning. So sad…. they couldn’t catch him. He can’t use his foot to walk or swim because it’s damaged by the tightening of the fishing line…. Poor Goose. Fisher-people: please don’t leave your lines in the lake.

Since then, Long’s been posting almost daily updates. She has organized multiple efforts to try to capture the bird — so far without success.

“The hardest part has been seeing this beautiful scenery every morning and then seeing the suffering of an innocent creature,” Long told KARE11.

Long’s blog shows she’s become increasingly upset over the situation. Her July 18 post declares: “We are going to help you, Goose!!! We are!!”

So is this an admirable effort to help an injured animal? Is Long’s quest a good way to teach people who fish about the dangers of discarded fishing line? Or has Long gone too far to save an animal as abundant as a Canada goose?

When I was a kid growing up along the Mississippi River north of the Twin Cities, seeing Canada geese was a thrill. We loved watching them flock in V-formation in the fall. In the few spots where the geese would congregate, we’d get up close enough to spark an angry hiss or two.

It wasn’t so long ago that Canada geese were believed to be extinct. Now they are so plentiful that they’ve become a costly nuisance in many parks, golf courses and other open spaces. A certain brother of mine, who shall remain anonymous, calls Canada geese “sky carp” anytime he gets the chance.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sums up the situation nicely:

Most people enjoy seeing Canada geese. The big birds often wear out their welcome, however, when they become too numerous and yards, beaches, and docks are fouled with their feces.

Canada goose populations have dramatically increased in residential and lake home areas because:

* habitat is abundant

* geese have a high reproductive potential and a long life span

* mortality from hunting and other predation is low

Here’s KARE11’s video report: