There Are Plenty of Beavers in Kentucky and They Are Plenty Problematic [VIDEO]
While enjoying a getaway at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in the summer of 2021, we drove past quite a few beavers near a small river on the property.
PLENTY OF BEAVERS IN KENTUCKY -- MAYBE TOO MANY
I was reminded that I've heard folks express surprise that Kentucky has beavers. Well, of course Kentucky has beavers. Most states do. And they're usually unwelcome creatures because of how they keep themselves busy.
It's those dams beavers build that make those affected by them say "Those damn beavers!" (Couldn't resist.)
I guess thanks to decades of cartoon treatments, beavers might not seem like such bad little creatures, but those who think that would be wrong. Those dams can cause enormous problems.
THE PROBLEM WITH BEAVERS
Today, beaver populations are even higher than they were in the 1800s before North America's largest rodents fell victim to the fur trade. Yes, their numbers are as large as they ever were. And while Thomas Barnes at the University of Kentucky identifies the benefits of beavers (ponds that develop from the construction of beaver dams helping to stabilize water tables, among other things), his litany of PROBLEMS they cause seems to outweigh the good stuff. The damming can lead to flooding. It can also clog up drainage systems.
And of course, there's the obvious--damage to trees. I mean, that's how they make those dams in the first place.
HOW TO MANAGE A PROBLEMATIC BEAVER ISSUE
Barnes has given several tips on how to manage beaver issues, but if a pond created by damming has been there long enough, it might have become designated as an official wetland. In that instance, it would be a protected body of water.
But there are season of the year when beaver trapping is perfectly legal, and likely welcome.
There doesn't seem to be a season for beavers. They're an apparent problem throughout the year. If you see one, it might be a very harmless situation--they won't approach you, so it's a big IF, to begin with. But if you are aware of damage they've done to your property, familiarize yourself with what you can do to eradicate the problem.
Hopefully you won't have one. Hopefully the only "beaver" issue you encounter is having a hard time finding a parking place at Buc-ee's in Richmond.