Dam problem in Eagle Ranch
Ryan Summerlin September 9, 2013
There is still a problem with beaver activity in Eagle Ranch since it became an issue a year ago, and the beaver population throughout the entire region is apparently robust.
“The beaver population is increasing all over Eagle County, so we’re not surprised that we’re still seeing activity in Eagle Ranch,” said Stacy Chase of Chase Wildlife, who is dealing with beaver issues in Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle and Summit counties.
Last October, a colony of beavers moved into an area along Brush Creek in Eagle. They destroyed many large trees along the bike path, built dams on the creek that threatened to flood homes and clogged storm ponds that are used to filter pollutants out of runoff water before it goes back into Brush Creek.
The town trapped and relocated one beaver before Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers advised that it was too late in the season to relocate the animals. The town was encouraged to euthanize trapped beavers or wait until the spring to relocate them. The town opted for the latter, hoping higher flows in Brush Creek with spring runoff might get the animals to move out.
On Aug. 29, Chase said she was still seeing damming activity in the wetland/storm pond area but none in Brush Creek.
“There hasn’t been enough activity to say how many are there,” Chase said. “We trapped a young beaver there in the spring but it was hard to say if it had just moved in or if it was maintaining the dam. We’ll continue monitoring this week and we might start trapping again next week.”
Typically, beavers build dams in the spring, slow down in the summer when there’s more vegetation available for food, and then resume dam building in the fall, Chase said.
“Last year with the low water, we saw damming through the summer,” she said. “There hasn’t been much damming activity this summer but there is more this fall than last fall.”
Chase said she’s been getting calls from property owners all over the region to deal with beaver issues.
“I would say the beaver population is healthy right now,” she said.