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Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers

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I wanted to check my facts before I made any inflamatory statements at the meeting. I was doing some reading last night, and it seems there are some significant misconceptions about beavers. For instance, their primary predators are coyotes (no shortage of them), wolves and cougars, with secondary predation by bears, foxes, and linx. They do not proliferate until they eat themselves to death, they are extremely territorial, and utilize a form of crop rotation that would put most farmers to shame. Most, if not all negative impacts you may have seen are short-term only. In the long run they usually improve fish populations in terms of both size and numbers, with a manifold increase in overall biodiversity. Also, the vegetation that they "decimate", grows back more prolifically, much like a fruit tree produces more blooms if it's pruned. They sequester water, raise the water table, and create wetlands. Lastly, the idea that Natives were keeping the population in check for 10,000 years, and now with no trapping the population is exploding, is simply not true. Beaver were a minor food and medicinal item for North American Indians. When the white people came here, they were happy to discover 100-200 million beavers living on this continent, since they had virtually wiped-out the European beaver. By the 1840's, the NA beaver was nearly extinct. Now, over 150 years worth of conservation efforts later, we have somewhere around 12 million beavers.

 

I strongly feel that we should invite experts in the field to educate us on this subject. If you like, we could invite someone from the beaver trapping program to express their views at the same time.

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I'm intrested in learning and hearing more about the subject.. :canuck:

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Don, you're the man.

 

I'm fascinated that you have experience with flow devices, and that you're not totally pessimistic. I can't imagine you have any pictures, but can you describe them? The ones I was reading about didn't have any inlet tubes. I knew they'd be a lot of work to install, but that kind of maintenance is a deal-breaker, no doubt. Hopefully innovations and improvements have, or will, find a solution to that, and the other issues. Obviously, I have a lot to learn on the subject.

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Junior,

 

There are a number of flow control devices utilizing some type of device that either:

 

1] excludes the beaver from filling up the culvert.

2] redirects the flow over the dam.,

 

See: the video in this web site for a pipe style of system. http://www.beaversww...anage-flooding/ The one shown will not work as the pipe is higher in the middle than either end. Nothing will come through it. till the creek floods and then it might become a siphon draining the stream entirely.

 

Here is a web site that show correct installation; http://www1.co.snoho.../Beavers/#water - scroll down to Water Level Control Devices and open the PDF

 

The style chosen for the Alford Creek project utilized four 8" plastic pipes c/w thousand of holes placed into them to "fool" the beaver + the inlet end was plugged. The inlet holes required cleaning regularly and further @ the outlet end the beaver constantly tried to plug it off. The pipes were sunk into the dam to where the level was desired.

 

As this was a dam that wasn't part of a roadway c/w culvert, most of the devices tooted don't do the job.

 

But - - - - this is CRITICAL - level control devices are designed to control the beaver dam level to PREVENT flooding. The dams are still in place preventing both fish migration to spawning areas + flooding spawning gravels. The flood prevention reduces cost of road maintenance + makes the adjoining landowners happy. Flood control does absolutely nothing for trout.

 

In Stauffer Creek case - the area where <>100 redds have existed each year has for the past 4 years been under a beaver dam. There was No spawning. And no - they didn't move somewhere else. I know as I have walked and counted redds on this creek for years.

 

What must be remembered is that all beavers are not bad. In fact only dam builders are in a few locations are undesirable. For example the upper reaches of Prairie Creek was infested by beaver when I came to Rocky. Brook trout fishing was great. The beaver died due to Tularemia. The dams disappeared and so did the brook trout. In Elk Creek for example, deep water resulting from beaver dams keeps the creek alive when it regularly dewaters in the winter.

 

Don

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Don;

 

I'm fully familiar with the area on Stauffer you speak of....and have noticed the same thing over the past few years. I'm not sure what the background is to this thead....but, my question is: what has happened to beaver management on Stauffer?....wait, I think I already know the answer to that so, let me rephrase it...why has there been no beaver management on Stauffer in recent years?

 

Isn't ACA getting enough money from us?

 

BTW, everytime I've been there in the past 4 years I have manually picked,poked and opened up two of the dams....only to see them rebuilt by the next outing.

 

Perhaps it is time to get the "defender" out of the closet again....

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Flycaster,

 

The beaver management program has had it's ups and downs over the past few years. Barry M. ran the program successfully for many years.After nearly 30 years of handling the program he decided to retire from it and Thomas Winter of the ACA took it on. Thomas did a great job for a year till he moved on leaving the program in the hands of Marco Fontana of the ACA. Then things kinda came off the tracks for a host of reasons. Barry looked @ what was going on and stepped into the fray again. So now the program is up and running again.

 

The ACA is providing some of the funding with supplements from other groups/organizations. Thanx to Northern Lites/TU folks for your help.

 

The larger question must be raised. If people want fish in this creek + a whole host of other creeks, who is going to replace the guys now doing the work. Last I looked there wasn't a long line of folks trailing along in our wakes. Lots of people yaking on the internet but this and that. I think that this quote about sums it up.

 

"When all is said and done, there is a hell of a lot more said than done".

 

 

regards,

 

 

Don

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Thx for the update Don.

 

......who is going to replace the guys now doing the work. Last I looked there wasn't a long line of folks trailing along in our wakes.

 

 

That certainly is one of the problems we face....at many of our EDM TU meetings (before amalgamation with NLFT) the lack of recruitment was evident....as the room consisted of only us gray haired folk.....

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