D5 installs trial culvert-fencing exlosure
to deter beaver-dam construction
District 5 recently converted a retired ITD materials source known locally as Dingle Pond into wetland mitigation for transportation projects in the area.
The access road to the wetland property crosses a wastewater canal, creating a prime location for beaver to do their own “enhancements."
Beaver are important components of healthy stream-wetland systems in North America, yet they tend to dam culverts and can cause roadway flooding. The Montpelier maintenance shed spends much time and effort to keep the culvert clear.
Because funds are not currently available to replace the culvert with a different structure, ITD asked for advice on the problem from Idaho Fish & Game biologists. After discussing possible strategies, the two agencies decided to join forces to install a ‘beaver deceiver’ fence as an experimental project.
On April 17, the Montpelier shed crew and IDFG staff met at the site to install the trapezoid-shaped fence exclosure (see photo at left) and discussed plans to monitor the effectiveness and durability of the structure over the summer.
Members of the Montpelier crew installed the ‘wedge’ fence and IDFG will add wire panels around the culvert inlet to complete the exclosure. The fence shape increases the length needed for the beaver to create a dam, which makes the location less desirable as a choice for building, so ideally, the beaver will move elsewhere.
If it works, the "beaver deceivers" would provide an inexpensive option to protect road culverts, while allowing beaver to remain in the area.
Install crew: Justin Skinner, Jody Smith, Jeremy Parker, Bradley Stevens, Ron Manchester, Lane Stevens, and Richard Gleed (trackhoe operator)
Project coordination: DeLoy Romrell (foreman), Alissa Salmore, Chuck Heisler, and Brian Poole
IDFG staff: Ryan Hillyard, Phil Stone, and Corey Mosby.