WINFIELD | Beavers continue to create problems in town by felling trees and building extensive dam structures in retention ponds
Building activity by the large, nocturnal, semi-aquatic rodents causes potential flooding hazard, said Tim Clayton, president of the Winfield Storm Water Board.
Deer Creek and Prairie Crossing are two of the subdivisions where residents have repeatedly complained about the beavers’ activities and flooding issues in the retention ponds that border their properties. Town Council President Gerald Stiener lives in one of those subdivisions.
Removing beavers and their structures requires permits from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Although all beavers are capable of building lodges, many in Indiana build a modified bank burrow, according to the DNR website.
One or two tunnels lead from below water level up into the bank to a nest chamber above water level. The nest chamber is about 2 feet high and 4 to 6 feet in diameter.
Frequently, a pile of interlaced sticks and branches mixed with mud is placed on top of the bank directly above the nest chamber, the website says.
“Resident landowners and tenants can trap or shoot a beaver that is causing damage on their own property without a permit from the DNR,” according to the website.
“The beaver must be euthanized or released within the county of capture on property in which you have permission. In order to prevent the spread of disease, the DNR encourages homeowners to safely and humanely euthanize beavers, if possible. If you do not want to trap the beaver yourself, contact a licensed nuisance wild animal control operator,” it says.
At the Sept. 24 Storm Water Board meeting, Clayton said licensed beaver trapper Tom Larson could remove the animals at a cost of $200 per beaver.
The hunting season for beavers runs from Nov. 8 through Jan. 31.
However, according to the Indiana DNR, it is illegal during hunting season to remove a beaver from any cavity or den; or to disturb the den or nest of any animal by shooting, digging, cutting or chipping; with the aid of smoke, fire, fumes, chemicals, ferret or other small animal.