Busy as a beaver…

One of the advantages of constantly being outside sampling fish and wildlife populations is we get to see a lot of interesting things, including glimpses into animal behavior and changes to the riverine habitat. In this instance, while completing our final salmon spawning survey for the season, we found this tree that had been almost completely worked over by a beaver. With so little of the trunk remaining, this tree will surely become part of the river during the next windstorm. Large woody debris (LWD) is well known for providing rearing habitat to salmonids and other aquatic species and placing LWD into streams is a popular technique to improve fish and wildlife habitat. By choosing to gnaw a tree at the water’s edge, this beaver will inadvertently contribute to improving fish habitat.