Johnson Lake residents work to find solution to beaver issue
Beavers at Johnson Lake are causing some residents to worry about their property. They're coming out at night, munching away on trees and the concern is how to protect the area.
Terri Rank has been a resident of Johnson Lake for many years. She said she has never seen damage like what she is seeing now and she has never seen as many beavers as she has seen since the new year.
" And it concerns me because if the beaver population is growing, it could affect our quality of life. It could affect our children, grandchildren, our pets swimming in the lake, it could damage boats. It's obviously damaging our trees,” said Rank.
Rank and her neighbors have seen trees bitten down to pencil–like stubs and while she said she just wants to live in harmony with them, that might be the last option.
"If you want to live trap a beaver, you can only move it 100–200 yards from where you trapped it. All that does for us is push it down a few lots and make it more of a neighbor’s problem but they're going to swim right back to wherever their den is if it's in our area,” said Rank.
I spoke with Pat Molini with the Nebraska Game and Parks who said trapping a beaver is actually the second-best plan when dealing with tree damage.
"Well the best thing to do if they’re damaging trees, is to protect the trees, that's the absolute best thing to do. Either put a protective wrap around them or use fencing to protect them, and then yes, the next best thing to do would be, if it's possible, if you can legally do it, is to get a local trapper that has a fur harvester permit,” said Molini.
However, tree damage is not all these beavers could do.
"They can sometimes cause flooding and they can also cause crop damage, you know, agricultural crop damage. They'll sometimes go in and take corn down and you know, either feed on it or use it you know for building dams or huts,” said Molini.
To find a local trapper or get a permit yourself, Pat Molini said you need to contact your local game and parks office. He mentioned that beaver trapping season is open until March 31st.