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Beavers in Champion Lake take matters into own paws PDF Print E-mail

By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican

While the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) is still waiting for approval for plans to repair damage at Champion Lake, local residents are watching with amusement as beavers take it upon themselves to “make repairs” at the site.
Recently, residents noticed that beavers had begun building a dam in front of the “real” dam at Champion Mill.
Dennis Spady, who lives across the street from the mill, said beavers seem to like to stop water from running rapidly. He said the dam has raised the lake level slightly behind it. Water in front of the beaver dam dribbles into the manmade dam.
The beavers add small branches to the dam every once in awhile. They are chewing down small saplings around the lake.
Jim Fuller, administrator of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Parks Division, said Tuesday that plans for digging out the lake and building a berm near the dam to control water overflow are still being discussed with state and federal divisions.
The dam and the lake were damaged in June of 2007 when flooding swamped the area.
The NGPC is seeking funding from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Nebraska Legislature to make the repairs and changes.