To ensure that the pond leveling device can function indefinitely, periodic maintenance is required. Maintenance includes monitoring for changes in beaver activity, ensuring that the pipe remains clear of debris and adjusting the height of the pipe in the dam to adjust the pond height.
With periodic check-ups, these devices will continue to convey water and maintain the beaver pond at the desired height. We provide maintenance contracts and/or training to clients as part of our device installation. If you have questions about device maintenance at your site, pleaseContact Us.
Each pond leveling device consists simply of a pipe that goes through the dam and a cage around the inlet of the pipe. The cage on the inlet is designed so that beavers cannot plug up the pipe with debris. We build these cages out of cattle panel fencing with 4" x 6" mesh. We use two of these panels to build the cages on site. Each cylindrical cage has a top and a bottom to ensure that beavers cannot get into the cage to plug the pipe.
We cut a hole in the side of the cylinder to send the pipe through. It is important that the pipe is secure in the cage and that there is not a large gap where the pipe enters the cage for the beavers to get through.
The primary goal of a pond leveler is to ensure that beavers can remain on site but the negative impacts of their flooding can be reduced or eliminated. Below we detail the installation process and highlight modes of failure. If you have further questions about device installation or are interested in having us assess the feasibility of a device on your property, please Contact Us.
The cage should be placed in the beaver pond upstream of the dam by at least 10 feet. If the cage is too close to the dam, beavers may key in to the water flowing through the pipe and try to plug up the cage. It is also important that the pipe is placed low enough in the cage that it will not be at the surface of the water. Any noises that the pipe makes as it draws in water will attract beaver attention.
The height of the pond with a functional device is determined by the placement of the pipe in the dam, not it's placement in the cage. This means that if you place the pipe low in the cage, it will not drain all the water from the pond unless the pipe is also placed low in the dam.
The pipe and cage should be secured with crossed t-posts to ensure that they remain in place. Depending on the site and the velocity of the water, we typically place 6-12 t-posts along the whole length of the device. If the water is too deep to safely install t-posts, cinder blocks can be used to weigh down the pipe.
Beaver Conservation & education
Deciding where to place your leveler is an important step. If you lower the pond too much, the beaver will take notice and may begin building in new places which will just exacerbate your problem. But if you don't lower it enough, the flooding issue will not be resolved. Finding the perfect pond height can be tricky! Note: if you remove the dam or notch it too often, beavers may move it to another spot which may be better or worse for flooding!
We notch the dams to the height that we want the pond to equilibrate. During storm events, the water level will temporarily increase until the pipe is able to convey enough water out of the pond. This is normal. The pond height should reach the desired level after a day or two.
It is important to notch the dam gradually. Releasing too much water quickly can cause problems downstream, create high sediment loads and impact fish in the system.