The Beaver Dam

The beaver dam holds back the Otselic River...but not for much longer! It will eventually wash out. The dam may hold up to incredible water forces for a long periods when the river is in flood. This dam was so well placed, that even though it was broken open it lasted through several big floods right into the winter.

The Otselic river flows through the length of Swallow Valley Farm for about a half mile and is home to a number of beavers. They live in the deep pools and don't need to build dams to create deep water. In late summer or early fall, lower water seems to make the beavers nervous and brings out their dam building instincts. The Otselic River is simply too big for the dams to remain and after the first fall flood the dams usually wash out. The beavers don't care as long as the water stays high. Occasionally a dam will last into the winter. Our beavers are the only beavers I have ever heard of that use stone in their dams.

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