By Sue Moore
An orange fence was put up along the shore of Sunset Lake Beach by the Vicksburg Public Works Department at the request of the Kalamazoo County Health Department in early June. It was taken down recently. The fence was not meant to keep swimmers out but to keep geese from overrunning the beach, according to Ron Smith, an active member of the Sunset Lake Association.
Goose droppings in 2016 led to the Health Department closing the beach to swimmers in the hot days of June and July. The village has contracted with a Michigan company, Gooseworks, to capture geese and move them over 100 miles away. It is a three-year program and needs to take place by the end of June before the goslings can begin to fly, Smith told the members of the Association at its annual picnic. The first “goose roundup” occurred on Tuesday, June 20, with more than 70 adults and goslings humanely captured and relocated.
Smith also described the Sunset Lake Water Trail he has promoted via Facebook. He has created a page that shows kayakers putting into the Sunset Lake waters at the public launch site. There is a map of the lake and channel going upstream, encouraging people to enjoy the lake and the park.
Sunset Lake has been undergoing weed control measures for the last five years, with spraying for starry stonewort, a kind of algae, using copper sulfate. Still, some of those attending from the association were skeptical about the effectiveness of the application. The village contributes $6,000 each year and all the lake area homeowners are assessed for the remainder of the costs.
Barton, Indian, Long and Austin Lakes also have a spraying program. Austin Lake Residents have been supporting an aeration program for the past few years that was recently renewed despite some skepticism of its benefits, Smith said.