Saturday, November 3, 2018

Beaver Update 11-3-18

Much has transpired since the dam breach in August.  The beavers from the lower pond have moved to the upper pond, but have been working to restore the breached dam while they prepare to winter in a previously abandoned lodge at the far end of the upper pond.

The lower pond has been recovering nicely, but the excessive rain is once again threatening to cause a breach.  Even the upper pond is stressed water is flowing over the dam in a half dozen places and water is flowing through the culvert faster than ever.

Here are some videos taken over the past two months.

This is the condition of the dam and the lower end of the pond on 11/3/18.  There is quite a bit of flow and it is early in the day. Hopefully the beavers will get to work on it tonight along with repairing the much smaller breaches in the main dam, which are not shown here. 


This is the lower pond as it looked on 10/29/18.

Since the breach of the lower dam, the water flowing through the culvert has been driving the beavers crazy and they are doing everything they can to get into the culvert cage and access the culvert pipes. The only good part about the substantial flow is that it is too fast for them to try to block the outflow. The inflow is protected by the culvert cage and it's 6"x6" steel mesh. However the beavers have put their youngster to work.  He or she is small enough to fit through the 6"x6" mesh. The videos below document some of this activity.

This is what transpired the week of 10/11/18.

On a different topic. Critters around the pond continue to prepare for winter.  As I was walking the trail to check the dam at the end of the lower pond, I came across this little guy.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that the beavers fortify both dams in the coming week and that we have a dry November, followed by a good freeze that will take us to spring and the installation of a new culvert protection cage. 

Watch for more updates as the beaver continue to do their thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

It's a Waiting Game

Beavers need about three feet water around the lodge in order to be safe against predators, survive freezing, and to be able to cache enough food to survive the winter. It seems obvious that even if the beavers repaired the dam immediately, there is little or no chance of that happening before winter. I suspect the beavers knew that long before I did, because there seems to be no further efforts to seal the breach.  They have either moved on, or retreated to an unused lodge in the upper pond.

However, that hasn't stopped the activity of the beavers in the upper pond.  They do not like to flow of water through the culvert after a rain and were working to try to breach the cages. Their persistence and ingenuity never cease to amaze me.  They managed to burrow under the culvert cage enough to get their teeth into the culvert pipe, chew it away and make their way into the culvert. Then mouthful, by mouthful, they dragged pond grass and mud all the way through to begin damming the other side.

Because of the tight fit, they are not able to get any sticks inside the culvert and the work they have done so far will be washed away with coming rains, as long as I prevent further excursions into the culvert.

UPDATE 6-27-18 - A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand word update on what I have done to stop further culvert clogs.

I suspect that if they do get through this, we have Arnold Schwartzenbeaver living on our pond.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dam Breach and Repair Update 8-20-18

Here's a short video update on the work being done by the beavers to repair the breached dam.  In it,
I make reference to the fact that they are not repairing the breached area and are working under and behind the tree they bought down. This actually not a new work area.  They were actively building back there in 2015. I blogged about it then. You can find that blog entry here.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Beavers and Murphy's Law

Because of heavy rains we've had this month, the lower pond was growing faster than expected. So yesterday, I contacted the NH Wildlife Society to make sure I could apply for another grant to put in a pond leveler at the far end. They said that they would be happy to accept the application, but during the night Murphy's Law kicked in, and the dam at the far end breached, draining the lower pond.  The good news is there was no damage to common areas or condo units and thanks to the pond leveler, the upper pond is in no danger.

The beavers have already begun to rebuild, but there are still questions and concerns that will have to be answered in the days to come. 

How long will it take the pond to recover? Were their damming efforts taking place during the breach and now that the pond is drained, will they continue to dam or will they abandon their efforts?

The pond leveler in the upper pond is functioning perfectly and thanks to heavy rains this week, it is feeding the lower pond water that it would not be getting otherwise. Also, the fact that we had the pond leveler installed was, is, and will be added protection against breach of the main dam.  

However, the water is flowing through the culvert pipes at a rate that would normally attract beavers to the outflow culvert cage installed this spring. Will they concentrate efforts on the breached dam at the far end? Will they try damming the culvert? 

We certainly won't be needing another pond leveler for a while, but we may have to modify the outflow protection, if the beavers try to dam it. I guess we are going to have to watch and leave it to the beavers.

The only immediate action that is required has been taken.  I left a message with mosquito control and am awaiting a call back.  A few years ago, I had contacted them to see if we had anything to be concerned about.  At that time, they said the pond itself was no problem, but they put us on their watch list and check us during normal inspections.