Conservation and Trapping News

OpEd: On Salmon runs: Beavers must be addressed
Dec 6, 2022 17:19 ET

[Reprinted from original]

The Dickerson Creek salmon run (usually last 2 weeks of October or first 2 weeks of November) did not happen this year. The salmon were blocked under the Taylor Road bridge by a beaver dam. The entire Dickerson Creek watershed, one of the most productive salmon runs in Kitsap County, is sterile due to this beaver dam. Chico Creek almost shared the same fate. Persons unknown removed the dam on the golf course, allowing a run to proceed. Otherwise, the Chico Creek watershed in its entirety would also be sterile.

Beavers are not threatened or endangered in this state. Salmon are. Beaver may be taken alive in an appropriate trap and relocated. Also, any licensed trapper may take this animal for fur and meat.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent salvaging the Chico watershed. The work on Highway 3 is an ongoing example. A beaver dam on the golf course would stop all salmon migration, possibly into the "salmon park" also. I am told by the conservation district that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife refused to do anything about the beaver problem.

So, instead of a salmon enhancement in the Chico watershed to help several thousand salmon, we seem to have a beaver enhancement saving maybe a half dozen beavers, costing taxpayers many tens of millions of dollars.

Go figure.

Bernie JMW Fleming, Bremerton