As the city of Port Moody works to create a strategy to manage beavers that take up residence in its waterways, a group of advocates for the industrious rodents is helping make one furry family feel right at home.
Volunteers from The Fur-Bearers along with local supporters like Jim Atkinson and his partner, Judy Taylor-Atkinson, were immersed in Suter Brook Creek last Friday, installing a device that regulates the level of water in the pond that has been created by a family of beavers between city hall and the public works yard. The beavers moved there after they were displaced from their previous home in nearby Pigeon Creek when an attempt by the city to evict them from a drainage pipe went awry and a young kit was drowned.
Taylor-Atkinson said the flow device will drain water from the pond — formed when the beavers built a dam — to ease flooding while still maintaining a level high enough for the animals to feel safe.
The device consists of a 40-foot length of double-wall, 12-inch culvert pipe with holes drilled into it so it can be sunk to the bottom of the pond. One end of the pipe is protected by a galvanized steel cage so the beavers can’t get in while the other end is inserted through the dam.
Taylor-Atkinson explained the effect is like punching a hole through the dam but the beavers can’t rebuild the structure or plug the pipe. She said after some initial curiosity, they will get used to the pipe and carry on with their lives.
“They need to have the water at a certain level to protect their home and family,” she said. “They’ll do whatever they have to do.”
The device was installed with the city’s blessing and several employees, including city manager Tim Savoie, stopped by to observe the work.
“This is a big step in the city’s beaver management plan,” Taylor-Atkinson said, adding she hopes interpretive signage can be installed to explain to visitors walking along the path that runs along the creek about what is happening. “I think the beavers will be fine.”