So I’ve been getting ready for the trout talk, and trying to pull things together. I stumbled across this ominous paper and was feeling a little anxious. They had a 10-foot dam they ripped out and counted lots of trout afterwards. It was published in 2013 and concluded that this was a great way to help trout. At least in the short term, which (as we know) is all anyone ever thinks about.
I immediately turned to the very wise Rickipedia who reviews research for a living and asked his thoughts. He helped me understand the following:
Rick directed me to the more respected paper by Lokteff, Roper and Wheaton. It was completed on a much broader scale and concluded pretty much the opposite. Both papers were published the same year, and neither one mentions the other.
What is particularly interesting in this paper, which looked at many dams over 4 years, is that natives like cutthroat and brook did better with beaver dams than non native ones (brown). And that little fish crossed dams less often than bigger fish. (Size matters after all).
All of which sounds pretty good for beavers, and I’m not surprised to see Joe Wheaton’s name among the authors. Apparently you can’t just rip out a beaver dam, count the trout, and call it research. Who knew? Anyway, it renewed my focus for the talk, and inspired me to make this, which I like VERY much. Thanks Amelia!