Beaver under my Dock??

bertman_gw(5B West Conn)August 23, 2011

What am I suppose to do? I believe he is building another shelter/hut under the existing dock/shelter! When I or my dog Jake( runs down into the lake to chase him out)He just goes under water and swims over to my neighbors about 200 feet away. I am thrilled to have a beaver in our pond/lake I have been here 12 years and seen many sorts of wildlife but never a Beaver! IT's a shame cause we have an upper lake that could use a nice dam! There use to be a man made one that eventually crumpled. How do I lure him up there? Could he do some major damage to my dock? I would hate to trap and injure him. IF I didn't have to.

Suggestions please!

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I've never seen beaver build under a man-made structure. They prefer open water in areas not disturbed by human activity, esp boats.

I would think that it is more likely to be a muskrat. They are a similar colour to a beaver but not nearly as huge and with a slim tail instead of a paddle. They swim with a wiggle very quickly, submerging when they feel threatened or to dig up marginal plants like reeds. They will then haul the entire stem to a floating woven mat of vegetation to eat the tender roots. Muskrats are not aggressive at all unless cornered - their main defense is spraying, faintly reminiscent to the skunk. More likely, you will have to protect them from your dog.

The other possiblities, although unlikely, are a mink or an otter. You would be very intimidated by the former (nasty little creatures) and charmed by the latter.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 5:31PM
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bertman_gw(5B West Conn)

Thanks for the synopsis! Adrien But Like I originally stated, ITS A BEAVER Close to Full grown Adult!! Huge Flat/paddle tail and all. I have seen several muskrats over the years here. This Beaver Goes from my dock to the neighbors dock, underwater (in one breath!) upon closer inspection when he spots us. He was slapping in the beginning, now doesnt even bother. He also chewed some of the dock!! But after a closer look he is not building, more just hanging out feasting and enjoying the huge willow!
Any other ideas would be greatfull beside Eleimination and calling D.E.P.?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:49AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Would a barrier of heavy duty hardware cloth be possible?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Then I am stumped - that is very odd behaviour. Especially as you say there are no other beavers nearby, so there is no family group or overpopulation pressure. The fact that he is hanging around human habitation in the daytime and not slapping anymore means that he does not perceive you as a threat anymore. I might question rabies in your neck of the woods.

In my long and continued experience in Northern Canada, once a healthy beaver has staked out his territory, he will denude the shoreline within that boundary of all desirable wood. They are very stubborn and will not be dissuaded! At my last cabin, I eventually cut down all the remaining poplars and left them near the water for the beaver to take. Better that than let my dogs go after him when he was vulnerable on land. Once the beaver knew there wasn't anything more he wanted from my property, he and his family moved on so to speak. Stayed in the stillwater corner of our bay but always remained an integral part of the landscape. That beaver was the only one with whom I ever had a problem.

You could shoot him but why? You are the "intruder". And if you trap him and he is relocated, he is at great risk of being killed by another beaver upon whose territory he has encroached. Or he might just find his way back to his own home lodge. You could also try and blow up those dam lodges with dynamite. Invariably though, the rebuild starts the next day. Another option is to trap and skin him for his pelt, part of the culture where I lived but never one to which I ascribed.

A further caveat. If he is chewing on pressure treated wood, he is at risk for arsenic poisoning. I would protect him - and my dock - by wrapping a few layers of heavy gauge chicken wire around the posts.

If you are really concerned, you should contact DEP or Natural Resources in your area. Me? I would just watch and see what happens.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:51PM
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bertman_gw(5B West Conn)

First off I haven't walked around our twin lakes to see if he does indeed have a main home lodge. Second I am in an urban area so to speak, neighbors close by, so I think dynamite is out of the question. We are however surrounded by 900++ acres. Plenty of wildlife!
I will try all things before I call DEP. During the winter our lake water level is lowered to control milfoil so he will have to go to the upper lake in order to have substantial terrain. All of the shoreline will be exposed. I will try and do the fence thing. I will keep you posted!
Thanks for the insight!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:24PM
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We also have a Beaver under our dock building a den which he started 10 days ago. We are located half way on a 22 kms lake, lots of people, dogs, docks and boats. No one has seen Beaver Dens in this lake before. He is building his den under a removeable alumimun pontoon dock with plastic treks decking. So can't eat it, but making a big mess all around it and under. We pull this dock out every fall, so we are a little concerned. Not sure what to do, but he is busy. Why he would pick our place is very weird. He is for sure a Beaver, and was slapping his big flat tail at us the first day. Any suggestions out there? Do Beavers get aggressive with children or pets?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:58PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Beavers are sooooo persistent. We have a large creek running through our property and had big problems with them for years........coming up over the bank and into our yard and eating our trees. But they are wonderful animals! And they are great parents. Its a real philosophical dilemma as to how to get rid of them.
We ended up using smoke and cherry bombs around their dens which did seem to scare them away.
How about keeping a radio turned on 24/7 around your dock?
Too bad you can't keep a dog there all the time.
I recommend chicken wire or hardware cloth around the legs of your dock. We had to wrap many of our trees like that along the creek. Fortunately, the creek has been low for several years, which has helped alot in keeping them away.
Its pretty hard to live in harmony with these little guys, but I hope you can figure out a way. Like Adrien above said, you/we are the intruders.
Good luck with this challenge!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:00AM
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Hi gang,
I was amazed when the stinkers moved in under my dock.
They truly are mess makers and have no respect for property but I cant help admiring them and their persistence. My dock is very old and time for replacement is near but when the beavers started chewing away at the sides and piling the crap on top of the dock, that was it. This means war! For weeks I would clear out everything they stuffed in and on top of the dock looking for ways to get rid of them. The neighbors suggested the only way to be rid of them was to shoot them. No thanks, not up for that.
I tried almost every product available but to no avail.
My dear wife came up with the idea of some very smelly deodorant soap. What had I to lose?? I bought some Irish Spring bars and using a cheese grater, shredded them up and filled a couple of small yogurt containers, placed them in the den one night.
2 days later, no beavers, they are gone!!!
And I didn't have to shoot them to my relief!!
May have also helped that I also took the liberty of taking a leak over the den every night.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 1:58PM
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