by Dennis Clark
Miller/Walker Creek Basin Steward
If Burien ever gets a semi-pro (or heck, why not Pro?) sports team, I think they should be called the Burien Beavers.
Burien is once again home to beavers, or at least one beaver. Last week, I received an e-mail from a neighbor of the Walker Wetland in Burien.Â He was wondering why the water level in the wetland had come up in the last few weeks when we’ve had no rain.Â I visited the site and sure enough, the water level wasÂ over a foot higher than it usually is.Â Downstream the water was slack — and high — until IÂ reached the cause: a low dam of sticks and mud.Â Beavers! Beavers used to be present in the basin but the last one was killed some years ago.Â Poking around in the deep water of the wetland, I came face-to-face withÂ one of theÂ soggy rodents.Â Â He dove and I didn’t see him again.
The beaver — or beavers — has chosen a good location from the perspective of fish in Walker Creek.Â There’s no spawningÂ habitat upstream ofÂ its dam and the increasedÂ size and depth of the wetland will provide good rearing habitat for coho salmon outplanted by Trout Unlimited .
It’s possible the beaver migrated from the Northwest Ponds on Des Moines Creek, where its counterparts have been as busy as, well, beavers.
First otters , now beavers! Who knew how wild our stream basin would become?!
While no photos of Burienâ€™s smallest hydraulic engineer are yet available, you can see pictures of his work at the Miller/Walker stream blog here.
So…what do BTB Readers think of the “Burien Beavers” idea? Please Comment below…
[Dennis Clark is King County’s Public Outreach/Stewardship Coordinator for Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed Salmon Habitat Recovery (WRIA 9), as well as the Miller/Walker Creek Basin Steward. Read his blog here .]