NORTHAMPTON — A small number of visitors to Fitzgerald Lake in Northampton are causing big problems, including interfering with beaver habitat, ripping down posted warnings and inadvertently causing the lake level to rise, swamping its dock.
The most apparent and consequential damage is to a metal fence surrounding a drain near the dam on the lake’s east side designed to keep the water level in check.
The fence was designed to keep beavers, which are drawn to the sound of rushing water, away from the drain and to prevent them from packing it with branches, saplings and other debris in an attempt to dam it, said the coalition’s president, Bob Zimmermann.
Once a section of fence was cut away, Zimmermann said, beavers began trying to dam the drain, causing water to back up, raising the water level in the lake by about 15 inches.
Other spots around the lake have been damaged or interfered with in apparent attempts to land prime fishing spots, said Zimmermann, who met a reporter at the lake Friday along with coalition vice president David Herships and board member David Ruderman.
Oh drat! Beavers are fairly easy to control but fishermen are notorious! Sounds like Northampton could use a beaver festival stat! Some education and good cheer to keep all those restless fishermen in check. Maybe a display about how beaver activity changes the invertebrate community which make for more and fatter fish. Don’t worry about the ripped fence, I heard the cavalry is on its way soon.
Once the new fence is in by the city’s contractor I’ll be installing a Flexible Pond Leveler through their fence. Interestingly, the second flow device I ever installed was on this lake, back in 1998.
Alright then, good luck revisiting history! 1998, wow that was 8 years before the beavers came to Martinez. I wonder what I was doing with my life then?
Oh and I loved this photo of Greg’s wife which ran yesterday in the CC Times Record. Greg is the man who’s been photographing the beavers in San Jose and helped with mom’s rescue. His wife was a star!