PHOTOS: Beaver pond leveller installed in North Delta’s Lower Cougar Creek

Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers volunteers and City of Delta staff install a pond leveller through a beaver dam in Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve. (Carol Pan photo)

Volunteers with the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers and workers from the City of Delta have installed a beaver pond leveller to help minimize trail flooding along Lower Cougar Creek in the Delta Nature Reserve.

Park users may have noticed the leveller, which consists of a long flexible pipe through the beaver dam with a cage at the upstream end to prevent beavers from blocking the pipe intake, alongside the main trail between the second and third boardwalk entrances.

The level of the bottom of the pipe as it passes through the beaver dam sets a limit on how high the water can get in the pond before it overflows into the pipe and exits downstream of the dam.

As well, the corrugated interior of the pipe makes upstream swimming easier for adult salmon as they head to Cougar Creek’s best spawning grounds.

“Hopefully the beavers won’t notice the contraption, but will happily continue building their dam, unaware that the leveller limits their pond to a safe height that doesn’t flood the trail,” reads a press release from the Streamkeepers.

The beaver pond leveller is a joint pilot project of the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, Burns Bog Conservation Society, City of Delta, EBB Consulting and the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF). In May, the foundation granted the Streamkeepers $1,129 for the pond leveller — a project valued at $2,287 — as well as $2,400 to the Burns Bog Conservation Society for Lower Cougar Creek riparian restoration.

The grants were awarded through the foundation’s Community Salmon Program, which supports volunteer and community–driven organizations that undertake salmon conservation and restoration projects in British Columbia and the Yukon, according to the PSF’s website.

READ MORE: Funding announced for pair of North Delta salmon conservation projects

“Though beavers are a nuisance, with their tree-cutting and dam-building, they are also a keystone species for healthy wetlands and salmon streams,” the Streamkeepers note. “A pond leveller is not maintenance-free, but we hope this one will reduce the amount of effort the City of Delta has to spend on dismantling beaver dams to prevent flooding. We’d all like to have our beavers, and our trail too.”

The leveller won’t completely eliminate trail flooding though, as the low level of the trail itself, combined with large volumes of stormwater runoff piped directly into Cougar Creek during rainy weather, guarantee that flooding will still occur.

However, in the coming years Metro Vancouver will be upgrading the trail and officially adding it to the Delta-South Surrey Regional Greenway, which currently runs from Mud Bay to 64th Avenue in North Delta and provides connections to the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail and Watershed Park in Delta, and Mud Bay Park and Joe Brown Park in Surrey.

As well, the City of Delta is continuing its efforts to reduce stormwater runoff at its source by diverting it into landscaping, including the more than two dozen rain gardens created by the Streamkeepers, instead of piping it into the creek.

“Meanwhile, whenever we’re faced with a slog through ankle-deep water [on the trail], we can recall how fortunate we are to have this relatively natural floodplain. Not only is it a safety-valve for protecting built areas from flood waters, it’s also a vibrant and healthy wetland habitat that nurtures fish, amphibians, birds and yes, those industrious beaver engineers,” the Streamkeepers say.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Delta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read