The name Canadian Honker resonates what’s uniquely loved in Rochester—the giant Canadian Geese!
In 1948 a power plant was built near Silver Lake in Rochester, Minnesota. The power plant used water from the lake for cooling and the heated water was discharged back into the lake. This had the effect of keeping most of the lake ice-free during the winter.
Each fall, the flock of geese that stopped in Rochester during their annual migration south grew, and each year more geese wintered at Silver Lake. Then, in 1962, an important discovery was made about the flock at Silver Lake. Biologists confirmed that members of this flock were giant Canada Geese, a subspecies that was thought extinct. The giant Canada’s carry a few distinct differences from other Canada Geese; they have longer necks, broader bills, and a slightly lighter plumage. The average giant Canada weighs 12 to 14 pounds compared with an average of 8 pounds for a normal Canada Geese.
During the peak of the annual migration, the air around Rochester is filled with geese, with up to 35,000 stopping at Silver Lake, many of them staying throughout the winter and feeding in the farm fields that surround Rochester.
To honor our local celebrity we offer unique gifts and specialty items that include
t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, baby bibs, goose-droppings (chocolates) and “Pleasing” our custom made seasoning salt.