Beaver Co-existence in Fryer Creek
April 2020 - present
In collaboration with Sonoma Water and Swift Water Design, the OAEC WATER Institute facilitated the installation of a pond-leveler device in the East Fork of Fryer Creek in the city of Sonoma. The device will allow beaver to maintain their lodge and the associated ecological benefits while managing excessive flooding. Prunuske Chatham Inc. has been brought onto the project to conduct hydraulic modeling for Fryer Creek and work with OAEC and Swift Water Design to create beaver management protocols for all riparian areas under of Sonoma Water’s management.
However, when the beaver moved into the East Fork of the creek within the Sonoma city limits, there was concern about increased flooding of the adjacent trail that could potentially block passage for trail users, and importantly, emergency vehicles. This is when the OAEC WATER Institute got involved to help facilitate a solution. OAEC has been monitoring the beaver dam since last year while consulting with Sonoma Water on options to allow beaver to remain in the creek while reducing the risk of flooding.