Sioux Falls using sound cannons to scare off pesky geese near airport

The booming will begin Tuesday downstream from Falls Park. Open water of the Big Sioux River attracts the migrating flocks.

Geese in the city.jpg
Canada geese along the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls.
Contributed / City of Sioux Falls

Don’t worry, that booming you hear isn’t in your head.

It’s the annual effort to scare Canada geese away from the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.

Sioux Falls Animal Control and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks on Tuesday, Dec. 13, will begin using pyrotechnics and sound cannons in hopes of convincing the geese that the Big Sioux River is no place to spend Christmas.

The booming will focus on the area below the spillway, downstream from Falls Park.

It’s all meant to lower the risk to airplanes from the flocks of geese attracted to open water. As lakes and ponds freeze over, the Big Sioux become a happy landing spot for geese, both migratory and resident.


Flying geese can damage aircraft by smashing windows or getting sucked into jet engines.

The city also operates sound cannons near Elmwood Golf Course and the quarries east of the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds.

Animal Control says sound cannons are a humane way to scare geese. There are no chemicals or poison involved. It’s a pressure-regulated system that creates a sonic blast.

They will go off several times a day but not be used at night.

Patrick Lalley is the engagement editor and reporter for Sioux Falls Live. Reach him at
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