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Need advice on fixing a beaver swamp

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 Posted 2/6/2014 2:48:43 PM
 

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I got a question that I know swamper can help with but any advice is appreciated. I have a beaver swamp in South Carolina that I can hunt and just found out about it. It used to be a duck reserve until the city came in and blew up some beaver dams and killed off most of the beaver population. Then a drought hit and the swamp dried up several years. Now there is some beaver activity and the swamp is starting to flood again. The water level is about knee deep in about a 200 yard by 80 yard area with two beaver dams about 100 yards apart. The problem is the swamp is so grown up with swamp grass that the ducks have no where to really land. There is still some duck activity, mostly wood ducks and geese. I hunted the swamp about 6 times the last 2 weeks of the season and shot around 10 woodies and 5 geese off of it between me and my cousin. Most of the ducks would come in and keep on going. So i was wondering how I can get rid of a lot of that grass that has grown up in there? and it is THICK. I was thinking of using an aquatic killer that is supposedly animal friendly but i don't know that it will get rid of the roots that are about a half a foot to a foot under water. I was also thinking of beefing up the lower dam to raise the water level. How should I go about doing this? Also what should I plant? I was thinking about either milo, millet, corn, or rice or a mixture of some. I'd like to attract woodies, geese, mallard and some teal to the area, those are the most common ducks in this area. Also I am a college student so I am on a budget but don't mind spending hours in the swamp fixing it.    

Also, I have an aerial photo of the swamp and I have marked the dams and property boundary if that helps? I am new to the forums so I am having trouble attaching it to the thread. 

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Post #775595
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 Posted 2/8/2014 12:33:41 PM
 

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Hi.  Sounds like a good spot.  Couple comments.   You are down south but I assume,  like up here, you have a winter kill of most vegetation. You may find that in the spring some of those won't regenerate from being submerged.  Get after some good size areas with round up when they begin to grow. That will give you some good open areas.  Beav ponds are hard to plant since the water can't be lowered to allow planting. Native goodies and invertebrate should draw in some birds. Good luck. 

"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)
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 Posted 2/19/2014 12:18:05 PM
 

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look up Clemson Leveler. They can be made fairly cheap without buying one already premade. that should help with adjusting water levels. You can raise it and it will stay flooded and the grass will turn into a mudflat where you can lower it and then plant it. I started one last year and planted it with good results other than i planted it too early i assume because by time season came all the ducks were gone. 
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 Posted 1/21/2015 3:33:36 PM
 

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Several things.

I have used a "log drain" to lower beaver ponds for years.  I used to use logs and sheets of roofing.  Now it can be done with PVC pipe.  Look on the internet for beaver pond management.  Several state wildlife and extension offices have plans and designs for making a PVC drain.  You simply bust the dam early in the spring and place the PVC pipe there.  The beavers come back at night and build it back but can't stop the water flow through the pipe.  Plant the mud flat with Japanese millet.  Just prior to the season, break the dam again and remove the pipe.  The beavers will plug the breech and flood the pond, thereby flooding your millet.  Just wait for the season and shooting time.

Duckhead
Post #777851
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 Posted 2/21/2015 6:29:37 AM
 

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Just reread your post and want to add to my earlier comment.  As far as the vegetation, invest in a industrial strength weed eater with a metal saw blade.  A couple of hours cutting the thick stuff out and then flooding will open up great landing spots.  

Duckhead
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 Posted 2/21/2015 3:50:57 PM
 

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duckheadone (1/21/2015)
Several things.

I have used a "log drain" to lower beaver ponds for years.  I used to use logs and sheets of roofing.  Now it can be done with PVC pipe.  Look on the internet for beaver pond management.  Several state wildlife and extension offices have plans and designs for making a PVC drain.  You simply bust the dam early in the spring and place the PVC pipe there.  The beavers come back at night and build it back but can't stop the water flow through the pipe.  Plant the mud flat with Japanese millet.  Just prior to the season, break the dam again and remove the pipe.  The beavers will plug the breech and flood the pond, thereby flooding your millet.  Just wait for the season and shooting time.

Duckhead


check your regs.  it is illegal to disturb beaver dams in many states without a permit.
when you clear that hurdle, beaver deceivers, as the NRCS calls them, are a good tool.

"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)
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 Posted 2/21/2015 5:33:13 PM
 

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We are planning on making landing zones in our ponds. We are dropping pallets in the water and pulling them across with a winch to uproot the weeds. Birds will land in open water, hopefully where we want them! Just make sure not to remove the stuff they like to eat. 
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