The Town of Nanton is going to begin its yearly gopher, aka Richardson Ground Squirrel, control measures this Friday.

Throughout the town, several bait stations will be installed this Friday (April 19th) to help lower the gopher population that is living in the town.

"Baits stations hold bait with poison in them that the gophers will come in and feed out of," explained the town of Nanton's Park and Recreation Supervisor Jordan Glas. "And then they'll go back down to their hole and hopefully pass away in their hole."

When using the bait that is used for gopher control in the past, workers were able to simply drop it down into the hole, but with new government regulations implemented, the bait must now be part of a bait station.

Those stations will be located on the outside of the dog park, at the Westview Meadow Pond, Lions Park, the Visitor Information Centre, and the Westview playground, but away from the playground itself.

They anticipate the stations will be installed for about 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how many gophers there are.

The bait they are using is a non-secondary poison, meaning that it is created in a way that minimizes the risk of secondary poisoning that occurs when predators consume rodents who have ingested the poison.

"They say it's a non-secondary poisoning, but it can happen," says Glas. 

So Glas has already contacted the vet clinic to inform them of their plan to use this poison, just in case someone comes in with a pet that is sick due to the poisoning.

On top of the bait stations, the Town is also planning on using either carbon monoxide or a mustard seed with a foaming agent compound to help control the gopher population.

They try to take care of the gopher population as early into the year as possible, so they can try to keep the gopher population from getting out of hand.

"We've already got an issue in Westview with some of the houses, where they will come in and start eating your air conditioner," says Glas. "Like your electrical cords, and they'll start digging underneath your decks, start digging underneath your driveways. So, it has to be controlled in a way, and homeowners also need to be able to control it as well."

Glas adds that, while nobody likes doing gopher population control, it is something that needs to be done.