Meeting discusses starling control program

A meeting was held on February 23 to discuss starling problems in the Similkameen and the efforts being done to control them by the Starling Control Program.

Part of the reason for meeting with producers throughout the Okanagan Similkameen was to encourage education to reduce vandalism to traps (this was a particular problem in the Similkameen last year) and how individuals and local governments can encourage blocking nesting sites. Growers in the Similkameen were also looking for more information about what the program was doing in the South Similkameen .

The program, to which the RDOS contributes $25,000, is also funded through growers’ contributions.

At the March 7 Keremeos council meeting, Mayor Despot told council that some difficulties had been encountered in last year’s trapping program, which resulted in a cost per trapped bird of $12. Alternative trapping methods are being considered for the valley in 2011.

In 2010, the agriculture industry had to cope with much larger bird populations than in previous years.