North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Three log drain:

The three-log drain (Figure 5), made of wood and steel, is the most economical type of drain. It is constructed with three logs, nails, short pieces of wood and two pieces of tin or scrap metal. The disadvantage of the three-log drain is its weight, which makes it difficult to handle.

Click here for more information on installing the drain in the dam.

Figure 5. Water levels in beaver ponds can be managed to compliment land use practices through installation of log drains.

Aluminum and PVC pipe drains:

Aluminum and PVC pipe drains: Another type of drain is a 6 to 10 inch diameter aluminum irrigation pipe or PVC pipe with three rows of 3/4 inch diameter holes spaced six inches apart along the bottom of the pipe (Figure 6). In addition to being lightweight, these drains are easy to construct, install, and remove, when the area is ready to be flooded again.

High rainfall and high stream flow may prevent drainage unless several drains are installed in a beaver dam. After three-log drains or pipe drains are installed, they should be checked at least monthly and maintained as required to insure proper operation.

Click here for more information on installing the drain in the dam.

Figure 6. Aluminum and PVC pipe drains can be used to manage beaver pond water levels and are also lightweight and easy to install.

Clemson Pond Leveler:

Clemson Pond Leveler: Researchers at Clemson University developed the Clemson Pond Leveler in order to minimize the sound of flowing water through the pipe, thus reducing the chance that beavers will try to tamper with the drain.

Click here for more information and instructions on installing a Clemson Pond Leveler.


Clemson Pond Leveler

Culvert Guard:

Flooding due to beaver dams obstructing bridges, culverts, or pond overflow pipes may be eliminated by fencing the culvert or pipe opening. The best method is to build a horseshoe shaped fence (Figure 7) a few yards upstream from the bridge, culvert or pipe opening. The fence must be in close contact with the bottom. It is best to use metal posts to anchor the fence. The beavers will rebuild the dam using the fence as support and leave the culvert operational. If flooding is still a problem, pipe drains can be placed through the fence to maintain the desired water level.

Figure 7. Horseshoe-shaped fences installed in the beaver pond upstream from culverts or bridges may be used to prevent the damming of these structures.

For more information on different types of water flow levelers and culvert guards, click here. (takes you to an outside web site pdf file)

Beaver Management: Flooding

Option 1: Tolerance

People sometimes discover that that beavers can provide more beneficial influences to their land than perceived harm. Wetlands created by beavers provide habitat for a diversity of plants, invertebrates, and wildlife, including waterfowl and white-tailed deer.

Beaver-created ponds and wetlands store water; many landowners find this beneficial during periods of during extended periods of dry weather and drought conditions.

Option 2: Dam Breaching

Breaching and removing a beaver dam is legal in North Carolina; no permits are necessary. However, without utilizing other options, such as lethally removing the beaver(s), breaching the dam is a short-term solution. Beavers are cued by the sound of escaping water and will rebuild any damage to the dam, sometimes overnight.

Option 3: Water level control devices (WLCDs)

Water level control can provide the best technique for beaver pond management in situations where the landowner wants to maintain a beaver pond or wetland, and its associated benefits, while reducing or eliminating flooding.

Several types of drains proven successful in controlling water levels include aluminum, PVC, and wood and steel. All of these drains have one thing in common, small drain holes, which the beavers are usually unable to obstruct.

High rainfall and high stream flow may prevent drainage unless several drains are installed in a beaver dam. After water level control devices are installed, they must be checked and maintained monthly to insure proper operation.

 

Option 4: Trapping

Trapping is the most effective and practical method for beaver population control and management. In many cases, landowners need to do no more than contact a local trapper to trap beavers. Many trappers will be happy to trap beavers during the regular trapping season, especially if they receive permission to harvest other furbearers.


Option 5: Shooting

There is an open season for taking beaver with firearms or bow and arrow throughout the year. Permission must be obtained from the owner or lessee of the land on which the beaver is being taken.