Successful Use of Beaver Deceivers Attracts Attention; Avoids Floods

Device prevents damage; saves money

By Vicky Mishcon

I have received inquiries about the Beaver Deceiver program here in Andover from some pretty interesting places. People from all over the country find their roads and properties are an ideal beaver habitat and are looking for ways to co-exist.

Most recently, I received a call from a limnologist (a scientist who studies the characteristics of fresh water systems, such as lakes, ponds, and streams). He had heard about our Beaver Deceivers and wanted to see some “in action.” I was happy to give him a tour around the Elbow Pond Road and Emery Road areas, both very active beaver habitats.

I have also received inquiries from a person at a United States Navy training facility that was being flooded by beaver activity. Another call came from a financial administrator in a Minnesota town who was looking for a cost-effective way to cope with culvert and road damage in areas with high beaver activity.

More locally, I have given tours to officials from the town of Hopkinton and the Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. A man from a community just north of the White Mountains wanted to see our Beaver Deceivers, as his community needed a better solution for flooding caused by a small dam being blocked by beavers.

These are all people who find themselves in the same predicament: Roads and homes and businesses are built near prime beaver habitat, and the installation of small dams and culverts are like neon blinking arrows to a beaver – there’s a breach in the dam, berm, road! All hands on deck to block the breach! A beaver can dam up a culvert overnight using sticks, mud, and rocks, and suddenly you have a flood or a washout.

Clearing out a culvert can be expensive, as towns often use heavy equipment to ram through the dam and sometimes there is damage to the culvert. Sometimes towns use trappers to drown the beavers, but an empty beaver habitat doesn’t stay empty for long.

An effective solution for Andover has been the Beaver Deceiver. Made from heavy duty materials, this is a fencing and pipe system that basically prevents the beaver from getting inside the culvert. Any damming attempts along the fence are foiled by a pipe system that goes through the fence underwater, allowing the continued flow of water through the culvert. 

Since each habitat area is unique, a system is designed specifically for that area. And since these are living and changing habitats, adjustments have to be made to keep them working efficiently.

For that reason, the Andover Conservation Commission monitors each of the town’s Beaver Deceivers. If you would like to learn more about Beaver Deceivers, contact a member of the Andover Conservation Commission.