Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shelton Beaver Mystery

Article in the Post today says that beaver have come back to Shelton and are living south of Lane Street on Means Brook. I'm not so sure. They WERE living there, but back in February I walked out on the ice and discovered their dam was blown out, and they haven't repaired it. The lodge (see photo) was located upriver about 75 feet. Usually beaver will repair a dam within a day or two. I also haven't seen any new beaver sign lately, like freshly cut trees. People have said they've seen the beaver swimming, but I've seen muskrat swimming, and many people confuse the two.

The beaver utilized a substantial causeway that crosses the wide Means Brook swamp behind Huntington Street. The causeway has a 10 ft gap which the river flows through (it's a good 5 feet deep), and there was once a bridge over the gap that has washed out. The vast majority of the "beaver dam" was actually this causeway. The causeway is accessible from the Rec Path at a sharp bend in the Land Trust meadow off of Lane Street (look into the woods a bit and you will see beaver-cut trees). The causeway is normally overgrown with vegetation and parts are wet, which why winter is the best time to check it out. Here's a video of the causeway where the beaver were, clearly showing they are gone.

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