Beaver Dam Update

During our Saturday “Meet the Artist,” I was informed that the pile of brush was brought in by the Highway Superintendent for the resident beaver to use in rebuilding the dam. Some of the residents threw the brush into water to make it accessible to the beaver. Sunday brought heavy rain, so I was wondering if the branches were still there on Monday, or if there was any sign of the beaver using it.

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Photo taken on June 12 right after the breach
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Photo taken on June 22

 

As I was examining the bank, a beaver was seen swimming around its house. The dam didn’t look much different from a week before after the dam was first breached. The branches were still hanging on to the bank. It was unclear if the beaver took some of it and started rebuilding, but the storm had washed it, or if the beaver didn’t touch the branches at all. I threw a bunch more in, and saw that any that were thrown even a little further away from the bank got caught in the swift current and were sent downstream.

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It will be interesting to study how long it will take the beaver(s) to rebuild the dam. A closer look at the remaining dam reveals how remarkable of engineers beavers are.

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The breach of the dam resulted in the water level drop of close to two feet if not more. This also made me wonder if such an enormous volume of water caused any damage downstream. The water from the pond travels in a stream meandering through wetlands with a wide variety of vegetation. The water level is high, but there was no obvious sign of violent erosion. This, seems to me, proves the importance of natural wetlands as a buffer against drastic weather.

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I don’t know what the function of this structure is, but this photo was taken in early June
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The same rock structure after the breach, showing the drop in water level

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Wetland downstream from Yankeetown Pond, photo taken June 22

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