Re-flooding swamp
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    danmc48's Avatar
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    Re-flooding swamp

    I was going to ask this question on a duck hunting forum, but the people over there come across as mean and rude, so i will see if any of the nice, helpful people on here have any ideas about my project/ idea.

    On my property i have a very large creek, and in the past, the beavers had build dams that caused it to flood out. For me, this is a positive thing because i love to duck hunt, and these types of swamps hold tons of wood ducks and Canada geese. I just bought the property in January of 2017 and from older aerial shots, the creek flooded about a 10 acres area, of which i own about 5-7 acres.

    Fast forward to since i've owned it, and now it is only flooded in about 1 acre. I'm not sure about this, but i think when hurricane Matthew hit us, it busted up a bunch of the beaver dams. I was hoping the beavers would rebuild them, but i have not seen any beaver activity since ive owned it.

    So the question i have is, what can i legally do to get this area to flood out again? I know it can be highly illegal to mess with a water way. I did talk to our local game warden and he told me that i could try to block up the small run offs from the main creek because they are not part of the main body of water, but he wasn't sure and i don't want the EPA bothering me.

    The creek does narrow down to a spot that runs under the road where there are three pipes going under the road. The best thing i thought about was seeing if the proper authorities would let me build a flash board riser so that i could regulate the level of water. I don't know that i could, even if they would allow me to do that, because the pipes are huge.

    I tried loading a screen shot of the area i am talking about, but could not figure out how to load it on here.

    Anyway, i hope this makes sense. I have no idea if i will ever be able to do this, or just have to hope that the beaver return and do it for me. I have thought about live trapping some beavers and dumping them in my swamp.

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!
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    I dunno.. In my area you can mess with "seasonal wetlands" but anything that has water all year round and isn't man-made is pretty much off limits. It may be worth seeing if your state Agricultural Extension Service has someone you could discuss the idea with. Usually when guys want to mess with this sort of stuff it happens slowly and usually at night. A couple of big rocks here, some logs there... After a few months water starts backing up enough and it's alll.... er... "natural".
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    Army Corps of Engineers

    Pretty much all wetlands are regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA under the Clean Water Act. In 2012 or so the EPA expanded the definition of "Waters of the US" to anything that might have ever been wet. There are several major court cases on this and it's likely those will end up in the Supreme Court.

    So what does that mean for your duck marsh? Before doing any construction, you want to make sure you are legal. Fines can run as much as $30-40,000 per day. So you've got a couple of options- check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District and see what hoops you have to jump through or wait for the beavers to show up. I've got a similar size beaver pond and they come and go. It seem like they usually chew down the saplings in the area and move on until some new growth shows up. Then they rebuild the dams, including one that tends to be an issue with a road. I might thin them out if they get too numerous.

    You can talk with the Dept of Transportation about the pipes under the road but I'll bet they will run from anything that backs water up.

    The beaver will likely be back. If it's a good spot, they will find you.

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    danmc48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    I dunno.. In my area you can mess with "seasonal wetlands" but anything that has water all year round and isn't man-made is pretty much off limits. It may be worth seeing if your state Agricultural Extension Service has someone you could discuss the idea with. Usually when guys want to mess with this sort of stuff it happens slowly and usually at night. A couple of big rocks here, some logs there... After a few months water starts backing up enough and it's alll.... er... "natural".
    I thought about trying something "natural" like that but honestly the pipes are too big. it would take a TON of rocks and logs. It would be too obvious. I was hoping with the 2 hurricanes we got this year that the extra flow would have carried some natural material downstream and clogged up the pipes some but i haven't noticed anything yet.
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    danmc48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Pretty much all wetlands are regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA under the Clean Water Act. In 2012 or so the EPA expanded the definition of "Waters of the US" to anything that might have ever been wet. There are several major court cases on this and it's likely those will end up in the Supreme Court.

    So what does that mean for your duck marsh? Before doing any construction, you want to make sure you are legal. Fines can run as much as $30-40,000 per day. So you've got a couple of options- check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District and see what hoops you have to jump through or wait for the beavers to show up. I've got a similar size beaver pond and they come and go. It seem like they usually chew down the saplings in the area and move on until some new growth shows up. Then they rebuild the dams, including one that tends to be an issue with a road. I might thin them out if they get too numerous.

    You can talk with the Dept of Transportation about the pipes under the road but I'll bet they will run from anything that backs water up.

    The beaver will likely be back. If it's a good spot, they will find you.

    Treefarmer
    Yes, staying legal is a major concern of mine. A few ducks are not worth any fine. On the current aerial shots, there is a nice beaver pond that formed further up the creek from my property, so the beavers are close. Its maybe 500-700 yards up the creek. Hopefully they get here soon. I really don't want to get any Federal agencies involved. I might just call my State wildlife and see if there is any way i could do anything to "improve wildlife habitat." Usually you get in trouble getting rid of the water, not what i'm wanting to do, but who knows. That's why i'm asking the questions. I don't want any type of fine.

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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    If I remember right our current President clipped the EPA's wings on that clean water act. Might be worth finding out.
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    When I read the title of this thread, I opened it expecting to read something about the election and Democrats taking back control of the House

    Sorry I can't help with your problem. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadOx View Post
    When I read the title of this thread, I opened it expecting to read something about the election and Democrats taking back control of the House

    Sorry I can't help with your problem. Good luck
    I thought this was a Political thread as well when I first saw it this Morning

    I spend weekends In the summer destroying Beaver Dams at My 18 acre Property making My neighbors out there Happy because they get some of the Property Back.
    Got the IL DNR to remove the Beavers Once(Same Beavers Came Back 2 years Later) and the DNR took them over 100 miles away and Put tracking collars On them. That's why I Know the same beavers are Back I sometime wish they would Get Near The Brush cutter so I could do away with them. But for Now I Just destroy the dams Yearly
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    Still flapping along on one wing

    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    If I remember right our current President clipped the EPA's wings on that clean water act. Might be worth finding out.
    Bureaucratic fumbling continues in the Waters of the US. Almost everyone except certain people at the EPA and a few judges realize the rule was a mistake, ill conceived and illegally implemented. We now have a stay of the rule in 24 states from one court case and in 26 states a judge was so thoughtful as to allow the rule to continue. (I might have those numbers reversed which is actually important depending on which state you are in.)

    While Trump has indicated that it needs to be changed, technically in those states where the rule is in place you can be cited and fined or even thrown in jail for violations. Congress could and should fix it but that isn't going to happen, especially with the Democrats winning the House so court cases will have to eventually get to the Supreme Court for a definitive ruling. Without going too political and causing the ban hammer to nail me, this redefinition is the largest single bureaucratic taking of private property ever. It's impact could rival the Affordable Care Act and at least Congress enacted that. In this case, literally bureaucrats decided to simply redefine basic terms like navigable waters and have simply said- If you don't like it, too bad. We're not changing until a court literally makes us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Bureaucratic fumbling continues in the Waters of the US. Almost everyone except certain people at the EPA and a few judges realize the rule was a mistake, ill conceived and illegally implemented. We now have a stay of the rule in 24 states from one court case and in 26 states a judge was so thoughtful as to allow the rule to continue. (I might have those numbers reversed which is actually important depending on which state you are in.)

    ...
    Treefarmer
    i don't know anything about this and I was curious, so I looked it up: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/defin...igation-update
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