Duck Foul-up

One of the most popular spots in all of Tallahassee is under attack by potentially devastating intruders, and the City Parks Department says that park visitors are part of the problem.

It's a favorite pastime at one of the most popular spots in all of Tallahassee, feeding the ducks at Lake Ella, but this pastime is actually illegal.

The City of Tallahassee Parks Department has been fighting duck feeders for years, but in recent months it's becoming a more “fowl" problem that the city can't "waddle" around anymore. The main issue at hand is Muscovy ducks.

Larry Schenk says, "Muscovy ducks are not wild ducks, it's a duck that came from South America to Europe and then to the United States and it's over populating the lake and the park. With the numbers we have right now there's over 66 pounds of manure a day which just goes into the water and adds to the water quality problem as well as on the grass. It's a real mess over there."

City employees who work around Lake Ella to keep it clean say the ducks are getting more aggressive every single day.

Rodman Holms, a Lake Ella visitor, says, "We come here just about every day to walk our dog and there seems to be an excess of ducks."

The city says Muscovy ducks are destructive because they spread disease, behave aggressively, destroy landscaping, pollute the water by the production of manure and displace the native wildlife.

The city wants to remind Lake Ella users that feeding the fowl is indeed just that, a foul.

In the past the city has rounded up the Muscovy ducks and taken them to the Saint Francis Wildlife Refuge or to farmers who have ponds. That could soon be happening again.


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