Last fall I reported on how beavers had set up shop in a bank under a tree next to our dock. That was not a problem until they started winter preparations by bringing in saplings and brush to feed on during the winter. This feed bed began to choke off our channel to the main lake. Our son Robbie was able to clear away most of the debris by paddling around in our guideboat and snagging it with a grappling hook fashioned from an anchor.
The beavers were not deterred however. As soon as we left in the fall they constructed a mammoth feed bed the almost totally blocked the channel. When we returned in June, I was able to just squeak by it in my guideboat and row on the main lake. While returning from on such voyage I suddenly found that I was dragging a 15 foot long sapling. It had somehow attached itself to the boat’s stern as I passed over the feed bed.
The source of the problem involved the stern stem band. The two screws holding it to the base of the stem had corroded until they could no longer hold the band. The loose band provided a “hook” that snagged the sapling. Fortunately the band didn’t snap off while towing the sapling. Here is a photo of the detached stem band.
Not wanting to take the time just then to properly repair the band I resorted to the time-tested emergency fix-duct tape.
Its embarrassing to row around with a duct tape repair on a guideboat you have built yourself. So out came the boat and proper repairs were done. It was simply done by replacing the two corroded screws. It is no wonder they corroded. The boat is in its 19th summer this year.
Now back to the beaver’s barricade. Here I am standing on the entrance to their bank lodge. The saplings I am holding are just like the one that caught on the stem band.
Our son Robbie was visiting for the July Fourth weekend so he was pressed into service again. This time a boat wasn’t needed. The lake water level was low enough so that an attack could be made on the feed bed from the shore. Here he is casting out his anchor grappling hook in an attempt to snag some of the feed bed.
A successful attempt.
After many hours of hard work the is channel clear again. Here is one pile of stuff dredged from the channel. It is mainly Alder and thickets taken from the marshes near us.
Well done Rob.
Next time I go on a loon census via guideboat.