Archive for November 10th, 2012

Sierra Wildlife Coalition to the Rescue

Posted by heidi08 On November - 10 - 2012Comments Off

Guess what our Tahoe Beaver friends did this week?

Here’s a look at the installation of a pond leveler at the (currently) dry beaver pond in Tahoe Vista. Scott Carroll at the California Tahoe Conservancy patiently waded thru getting all the required permits, and provided pipe and labor.

Ted had made the inlet cage to fit under a sturdy willow in (what will be) the deepest part of the pond, where it will be protected and nearly invisible. The pipe rests across an older dam near the inlet, and crosses to go thru

the newer, higher dam. We shot elevations, and with the pipe just set on top and partly into the new dam, the pond level will be where it was last summer, which also covers all of several entrances to a burrow under boulders behind the willows.

Approval from the teacher:

That is very cool! Great idea to preemptively install the pipe before the beavers are established. With the pipe already installed, when the beavers repair the dam and the water level rises it won’t rise more than desired. That is important because it means the water level will not need to be lowered whichcan be a trigger for new downstream dam building by beavers. Too often pipes are installed to late when the water needs to be dropped 2 or more feet which increases the potential for new problematic dams. Beavers are much more likely to tolerate a smaller pond if they never get a memory of a larger pond. Of course you know this which is why you folks were smart to intervene early. Well done!

I see you did a nice job venting the double wall pipe. One question. How is the pipe secured to the ground? Such a long double wall pipe (even a well vented one) needs to be weighted done well with concrete blocks or with crossed and wired fence posts to prevent pipe floatation. I imagine you did this already but cannot see it in the pictures.

Congratulations, Mike Callahan (Beaver Solutions)

And reward for the job well done:

Here’s what we found today, after our overnight snow – beaver tracks! It looks like a beaver came up from the Lake, over the sand dunes, tocheck out the pond! That’s a couple hundred yards, and up over a pretty tall dune.

There are 2 sets of tracks from the edge of the Lake, which looksomewhat different, so we figure one set was coming and one going.There are several chutes where it looks like they went into and out of the pond, maybe accessing nearby willows (although we didn’t see any fresh cuttings). The water is up a tiny bit from the snow, so there

is a pond they can swim in, but it doesn’t cover entries to the burrow. The larger pond and wetlands upstream on the other side of the highway, where we saw them swimming last spring, is also filling up. (They access it thru three large culverts under the highway)We will definitely keep an eye on this.

Great work Sherry and Ted Guzzi! I’m sure there are warmer ways to spend your days and easier problems to wrestle, but we applaud your commitment and effort! Knowing how far California has to go to fight the contagion of beaver-stupid in the Sierras we couldn’t have picked a better set of champions! Nice work!