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Thread: Stocking beaver in GSMNP?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Georgia
    Posts
    27

    Default Stocking beaver in GSMNP?

    While I've seen discussion on the otters being 're-introduced' into the park, I'm curious why stocking some beaver didn't actually precede them?
    Most of the otter that I've seen/watched in the wild were in or near beaver ponds.
    Additionally, with streams of minimal size and erratic flow, beaver ponds represent the best option to grow bigger fish-WITH more protection for all.
    Naturally some flows and gradients will take-out beaver ponds-or they can't even get built- but overal it'd seem both consistent with stated park policy AND good for the fishery. Beaver can even help keep stream banks from being choked off by trash brush.
    And beaver don't eat trout:-). Ghost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    Hi Ghost,

    I think beavers have been living in the Park for a long time. I remember seeing a beaver pond near Abrams Creek back in the early 90's. During the drought of 2007 and 2008 a big dam was built by them on Little River at the April Pool. We watched as it was under construction. Most people knew it was just a matter of time before it blew out. They live here in the valley along with the otters. I've seen both in the creek behind our house. Laurel Lake near our house is infested with beavers. They built a huge dam that blew out this year. I guess high gradient streams are not suitable habitat for those critters. But they live here, try to make a living and get by.

    Byron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Begley View Post
    But they live here, try to make a living and get by.
    That goes for a lot of us....

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lenoir City, TN
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Now that's funny!... I don't care what species you are.
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    Southern Appalachian Stream Maps sasMaps.com
    Formerly SmokyStreams.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,397

    Default

    If the beavers were able to maintain permanent dams on the rivers, it would be detrimental to the health of the streams. The high gradient of our streams and good flows is what keeps the streams cool and oxygenated. If there were stagnant pools, the water temperatures would spike higher in the summer than they already do...beaver ponds further north make for good trout habitat but most of the lower elevations of the Smokies just get too warm as it is...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lexington KY
    Posts
    126

    Default Beavers

    Seem to remember some beavers and dams on upper reaches of Bone Valley Creek. It does flatten there before the cabin. Did make a big wetland; do not remember catching a fish there or seeing a beaver. Skip

  7. #7

    Default

    There are beaver ponds further south than the Smokies, at high elevations, which hold trout. I have begun seeing beaver in a few remote areas which have not been there in the past. I am looking forward to them building me some new areas to fish. Like many species in the post-fur age, they are re-establishing their range. We now enjoy some of the oldest-growth forests that anyone has seen in decades if not longer.

    I don't think beavers are a bad thing at all. They need controls (predators), of course. But trout and beavers co-existed happily for a very long time before we came and will do so again. Their dams leak, so water warming is not really an issue, provided they build in an area with enough canopy.

    Zach

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

    Default

    Ghost--Two points: (1) There are beavers at many places throughout the Park--Abrams Creek, Deep Creek, Indian Creek (big pond there which occasionally gets blown out), Luftee near mouth of Collins Creek, Bone Valley Creek near Hall cabin, etc.. (2) I don't fully share your view about beaver being good for trout in this part of the world. Where they build dams and slow the water that means warmer water, lower oxygenation, reduced or removed canopy, and other negatives. It isn't the same situation as beaver ponds in more northerly climates.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    644

    Default Beaver ponds and trout

    Over the years, I recall seeing articles that dealt with fishing beaver ponds for trout. These were in the western states. Maybe a difference in water temps?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,397

    Default

    Yes, water temperatures are cooler in beaver ponds out west, generally because of the high elevation. Many of my favorite beaver ponds "out west" are at or above 9000' and are generally in sections of streams that are not too high gradient. The night time temperatures routinely fall into the 30s and 40s out there at night throughout the summer due to lower humidity, so the streams stay nice and cool. Recent attempts at dam building by beavers in the Smokies always fail eventually. They just aren't built to withstand the stress of extremely high water that we experience every year at some point or another.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

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