Beavers at Campbell Creek Wetland

I could say there are pros and cons to beavers moving in an area.  A beaver colony can rapidly cut young and old growth trees to build dams, build a lodge, and feed on deciduous trees and shrubs.  While altering the landscape dramatically, they also create habitat which other animals can benefit from the increase in water, plants and new growth of native shrubs and trees.

One kilometer upstream from Campbell Creek Wetland, a colony of 3 beavers have dammed the creek, raised the water level and built their lodge.  The family consists of 2 parents and a kit.  The increased water level has attracted ducks who swim the channels amongst the flooded shrubs.  Small trout are seen surfacing in the still water.

As part of the beaver’s territory, a secondary dam has been constructed one kilometer downstream from their lodge adjacent to the west pond at Campbell Creek Wetland.  The dam has constricted the creek flow, but has not stopped the flow of water.  The retention of water behind the dam has resulted in an increase in ground water.  Consequently, the rise of ground water has increased the pond water level by 42 centimeters.  This is the level of water seen in mid summer in this ground water wetland.  The increased surface water in the pond has attracted the Great Blue Heron to use it as a resting location.

Though some trees were fell creekside adjacent to the wetland, some for dam building and some likely for a future food source, minimal loss of trees has happened to date.  There are a variety of native trees and shrubs in the Campbell Creek riparian area with cattails and other preferred vegetation of the beaver.  At this time there is no channel building, just small slides where the beavers have been in and out of the marsh.  See more beaver activity Beavers in Campbell Creek

During excavation of the restored Campbell Creek Wetland a preserved beaver cut log and a sand bar was discovered indicating it is a site of an ancient beaver dam.  It is interesting to note that these current day beavers chose near to the same location to build a dam.

Campbell Creek Wetland Oct 14, 2012

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