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Beaver Exclusion Device
Also known as 'beaver deceivers', exclusion devices keep beavers from plugging culverts and other narrow constriction. Using fencing materials, beavers are kept a sufficient distance away from the culvert to reduce noise and the feeling of quickly moving water, two things that trigger beavers to build dams. By excluding beavers from this area, they are less compelled to dam the area and focus their work in more preferable places of the stream, away from infrastructure.
A pond leveler is simply a pipe through a dam. The pipe is set at a height that prevents further flooding, but retains enough water so that beavers can remain onsite. A cage is placed around the inlet of the pipe to prevent beavers from plugging the inlet with mud and sticks. These devices require very little maintenance (3-4 check-ups per year), and can last indefinitely. For more information about construction visit our Pond Leveler page.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we sometimes take water for granted. Because of ample annual rainfall, our landscape is crisscrossed with rivers and streams and dotted with lakes, ponds and wetlands. Often we’ve built our roads, homes and businesses over and around these water features, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes entirely because we treasure the esthetics water provides. Many newer developments have portions of land set aside in stream or wetland buffers that protect these features and also provide open spaces that can offer some natural relief in an otherwise built-out landscape. As beaver populations rebound across the Pacific Northwest, it is exactly these types of environments they are moving into.
When a beaver chooses to make your local stream or neighborhood wetland its home, the signs may be subtle at first… some chewed branches here and there… a little more water than you remembered last year... one or two trees looking slightly brown as their roots get wet. Before long, a beaver family may have stream system fully dammed and can bring down several small trees in a single night of work. It’s usually not until homes, roads and other property are significantly impacted that most landowners and managers really focus on the animal causing these changes.
If beavers have room to live without causing trouble, it is best to leave them be. However if beaver activity is causing dangerous conditions or property damage, action should be taken. In the past, there was one option to reduce beaver impacts and that was to hire a trapper to remove beavers. While trapping is still an option that some pursue, many landowners and managers are choosing alternatives that leave beavers right where they are.
Beavers Northwest can help you find the right solution to your beaver conflicts. We are experts in non-lethal management options. The two methods most commonly used are the pond leveling device, which allows beavers to remain onsite but prevents flooding, and the beaver exclusion device which prevents beavers from plugging road culverts. Both types of devices, when properly installed and maintained, are the most cost effective and longest lasting beaver management method.
While lethal trapping or relocation trapping are options to get beavers out of your area, they provide only a short term benefit. If one beaver family has identified your area as a good home, chances are good that other beavers will do the same. Removing one beaver or one family of beavers is just a temporary fix until the next one moves in!
For more information about the relocation work that Beavers Northwest has been involved in, visit our Conservation page.