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Winter 2013-14 - Act•ionLine



What’s more Canadian than beavers?  These crafty critters are engineering geniuses, but sometimes they end up building dams in spots that get them in trouble.  In August I had the pleasure of joining staff and volunteers from the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals ( on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia to learn about and help build a few beaver dam flow devices.

They’re very simple to assemble, with inexpensive and common items from hardware supply stores, and do an amazing job at preventing dams from growing (which is generally what beavers are trying to do!)  They mainly consist of a tube with a fenced in or filtered end, which goes in the dam, while the other end goes through a small cut-out in the dam and allows water to flow through.  This prevents water from building up, and stops unwanted flooding, with almost no disruption to beaver families.

Enjoy the photo collage of my experience helping with this particular project. It was a great opportunity to get out and help a beaver family directly.  For more information, search for ‘beaver flow device’ on the Internet for variations on this design, or contact APFA in Canada.


Photo – Finishing up the flow device. It only took about an hour to build and cost roughly $400 for materials.  A pretty small price to protect this beaver family!








Photo - The flow device is moved into place.  The fencing prevents beavers from accessing and clogging the pipe, and the other end simply allows the water to flow once it gets to the selected height.  Sticks and branches are added back over the piping, and the beavers will fill in the rest to restore the dam.




Photo - Here’s another angle of the pipe being slotted into place.  We had to dig out that culvert; those clever beavers had actually built up about two feet of material around it.  Water can flow now, eliminating the risk of flooding the nearby road.



 Photo – The flow device is installed, and more fencing is added around this open section where the piping feeds into a culvert.  This prevents beavers from re-filling the culvert, and other animals from accidently falling into the opening.









Act•ionLine Winter 2013-14

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