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Dams and Culverts - Reconnecting Our Waterways

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  • Bunchberry
    replied
    Originally posted by Glen View Post
    Well stirring the pot a little, before white folks arrived here, beavers and brook trout coexisted in the Adirondacks since the ice retreated 10,000 years ago. I have to think there is something else missing. An apex predator? Wolves? Lions? All of the earliest historical records of brook trout in the Adirondacks show robust fisheries everywhere. Before trapping had an impact. Gotta take the long view when considering things like this. Quick answers lead to flimsy solutions.
    I agree with you about the predator thing. Beavers are big and strong so wolves and lions would do a much better job than coyotes when it comes to population control. So this would mean the Adirondacks are out of balance.

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  • Glen
    replied
    Well stirring the pot a little, before white folks arrived here, beavers and brook trout coexisted in the Adirondacks since the ice retreated 10,000 years ago. I have to think there is something else missing. An apex predator? Wolves? Lions? All of the earliest historical records of brook trout in the Adirondacks show robust fisheries everywhere. Before trapping had an impact. Gotta take the long view when considering things like this. Quick answers lead to flimsy solutions.

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  • St.Regis
    replied
    When beaver pelts get back up to $1 an inch, the beaver population in places like Tug Hill will be better controlled. But in my opinion that will never happen

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  • Bunchberry
    replied
    I don't think we can separate beavers from culverts being that beavers stop up culverts.

    I find this kind of topic really interesting. If reminds me of the topic of fires out west. When the Europeans arrived out west they thought what a wonderful natural landscape. Nothing could be further from the truth. Native Americans had been managing the landscape with fire for hundreds or thousands of years.

    Well what is the natural landscape in the Adirondacks? Are the Adirondacks a fetid landscape of beaver ponds? How many beavers are normal? Are clear running streams in the Adirondacks natural or are they historic blip on the historical radar when humans killed all the beavers?

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  • Tug Hill
    replied
    I’m not sure why some think beaver is off topic ? Topic title, “Dams and culverts, reconnecting our waterways.” How do you discuss reconnecting waterways, when all beaver do is build dams and plug culverts ?

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  • St.Regis
    replied
    Less the culvert and dam topic, there was a thread about Tug Hill beaver issues just like this one a little over a year ago. That too was interesting

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  • TCD
    replied
    Agree - this is interesting. I have been following this thread, waiting until it seems like my turn to opine.

    The thread has drifted from a thread about dams, to a thread about beavers.

    Beavers are interesting, and have their good and bad features. But I hope the thread drifts back to the OP topic of dams.

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  • chairrock
    replied
    Originally posted by Tug Hill View Post
    Beaver are a flat tailed rodent and breed like rodents. In 1903 there were only 2 known beaver colonies in all of NYS. (Somewhere in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County). From there they were reestablished. Throughout the state. On the 30,000 acre Corrigan Tract, which has been recently purchased by the Salt Lake City, UT company called Bluesource, trappers have taken around 100 beaver annually the last several years. It has not made a dent in the population. But the damage has already been done, shade integrity of the small creeks and Brooks is gone. Flooded timber land is robbed of an enzyme in the soil and trees will rarely grow back in an open beaver vly.
    As for predation, coyotes and black bear will kill them, but much easier for predators to kill other small game, adult whitetail deer and their fawns.

    WOW, Maybe we will see some activity on this page with opposing opinions..a good thing

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  • Tug Hill
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunchberry View Post
    Are the beaver numbers unnaturally high due to lack of predation or some other factor?
    Beaver are a flat tailed rodent and breed like rodents. In 1903 there were only 2 known beaver colonies in all of NYS. (Somewhere in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County). From there they were reestablished. Throughout the state. On the 30,000 acre Corrigan Tract, which has been recently purchased by the Salt Lake City, UT company called Bluesource, trappers have taken around 100 beaver annually the last several years. It has not made a dent in the population. But the damage has already been done, shade integrity of the small creeks and Brooks is gone. Flooded timber land is robbed of an enzyme in the soil and trees will rarely grow back in an open beaver vly.
    As for predation, coyotes and black bear will kill them, but much easier for predators to kill other small game, adult whitetail deer and their fawns.

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  • chairrock
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunchberry View Post
    Are the beaver numbers unnaturally high due to lack of predation or some other factor?
    I don't know if they are unnaturally high.
    If there is food and water they will colonize and propagate. When the food runs out they move on.
    Trapping has declined in recent years due to all sorts of reasons, ranging from youngsters playing video games, social emotional dislike of fur, harassment of trappers,and to low fur prices.
    There seem to be plenty of coyotes around, so natural predation is still there. They will reach an equilibrium at some point, either aided by man, or by nature with disease and starvation playing a role.
    Properly managed beaver are a wonderful renewable resource.

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  • JW
    replied
    Tug - I see your point - I was thinking more about the champlain valley. In the central adk , I love the little beaver ponds full of little brookies. I Guess you have to have a little terrain for that to work.

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  • Bunchberry
    replied
    Are the beaver numbers unnaturally high due to lack of predation or some other factor?

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  • Wldrns
    replied
    My parents grew up in the heart of the Tug Hill. My father said there were very few beavers at the time as they had mostly been trapped out in earilier years. Looking at the old edition topo maps, for example, the Sears Pond topo was last updated in 1943. It shows many free running streams heading off "the Hill". My father took me trout fishing near the old homestead frequently in the 1960s and we always did well. Go there now and that is not the case. I was on a SAR incident in the area a few short years ago and the current 1943 map was practically useless because all the streams were no longer free running, with the many beaver ponds making it difficult to plan and conduct proper grid searches without having to cross through flooded areas and new swamps.
    Last edited by Wldrns; 07-10-2022, 06:58 PM.

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  • Tug Hill
    replied
    Salar4me, Yes, people here that that think beaver have done no damage to the water quality and brook trout are either clueless or have never had boots on the ground and seen the damage they have done. I have made the offer here in the past to give anyone a tour of the beaver damage in the core of Tug Hill, but no takers , just talkers.

    As far as man made dams, I know of no man made dams that are left in the core area of Tug Hill, in the East Branch of Fish Creek or the Salmon River watershed, other than the one on Salmon River in Redfield, and Swancotts Mills on Fish Creek. Upstream from there, the brook trout fishery has been devastated by beaver. 60 years ago, when there were few beaver, you could drink the water from the tribs of both watersheds, and fill your creel full of native brook trout. Today after 60 years of DEC water quality regulations, you cannot drink the water without the risk of giardiasis , ( until filtration system in place, city of Rome , NY had over 4000 cases) and the native brook trout populations are a far cry from what they used to be.

    Not saying man has not done damage, but here on Tug Hill, beavers are the main culprit.

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  • salar4me
    replied
    Tug - moved to Camden a few years ago and visited streams I fished with my dad and brothers back 45 or so years ago. Understand what you are saying about the beavers. One stream around Redfield was braided into numerous warm, often stagnant, rivulets. Was an amazing fishery. Witnessed in many other watersheds.

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