FOSTER CITY, Calif. (KRON) – A dramatic increase in the population of Canada Geese in Foster City, as well as their droppings, has prompted the city council to approve a plan that could include killing some of the birds to keep their numbers down.

The geese are a protected species so the city will have to get federal approval before any lethal measures are taken.

According to Foster City, with no natural predators and lots to eat, the number of Canada Geese has shot up 78% here from last June to this June.

The last count put their number at 323 but it’s not so much the birds themselves that are getting feathers ruffled out here, it’s their droppings which not only make a mess but also foul the water.

“We have found high levels of bacteria that can be partly attributed to goose poop in our lagoons and there have been times we have to close the beaches so that really is the problem the kids playing in the feels gets trapped in the shoes, in the schools, bring back to the classrooms,” Vice Mayor Richa Awasthi explains.

So after years of trying non-lethal means of keeping the numbers down, the city council unanimously voted in favor of a geese mitigation plan that could allow for lethal methods.

“Not about eradicating them or eliminating them it’s about controlling and managing the population and managing the problem really,” Awasthi said.

Not all residents are happy about this idea.

“Well I like the non-lethal methods the best and I don’t agree with him having the resort killing any geese,” a resident said.

Even those the geese are here year-round, they are protected by a Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so officials would have to apply for a federal permit to trap and kill the birds and if granted the permit it could last up to one year and the lethal methods will be used alongside non-lethal ones, until those long term methods, such as keeping eggs from hatching take hold.

Another non-lethal method they are going to try out as a pilot program fogging the geese with a non-harmful chemical meant to irritate the birds and keep them out of certain areas.