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  #11  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:23 PM
M Lopez M Lopez is offline
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The reduced occurrence of huge flushing flows in the last couple decades has also allowed pools to fill in. Big flows this winter and spring could help move a lot of that silt out.

Yep, the only gage station on the entire Black River is the one at the Black River Pump Station, near Point of Pines. The other gage you mentioned near Fort Apache is on the East Fork White River, not going to help you determining flows in the Black River.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:29 AM
Seldomseen Seldomseen is offline
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Hi Mike - Do you know what that apparatus on the WF Black immediately above the 25 road is? Looks like an old gauging station.

Also, there seems to been an increase in beaver population in the system. Of course there is the complex there near Buffalo Crossing by the road, but I have seen others on the EF Black. Also there are some further down on the main stem. I don't remember this much in the past. Do you know if this is organic or if the population was augmented? Just curious.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:48 AM
M Lopez M Lopez is offline
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Yep, that structure on the WF Black above the 25 road is an old gage station. There is another on the lower East Fork just below the 24 road. Neither has worked for decades. We've tried to convince USGS, USFS, or others to get them up and running again, but the answer is always the same (give us $20K a year to keep one running). The Apache-Sitgreaves has identified those 2 structures for removal in their a Black River Analysis Project to remove impediments to natural flow that aren't needed. We opposed that in case someone could come up with the money in the future to get one or both started again. But don't think that changed their minds. It'll take money and NEPA to remove the concrete so I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon either.

Regarding beavers, sure seems like there is an increase. Definitely not augmented. It's hard to say what's causing the increase. Could be a slow rise in the populations following the ban on trapping on public lands many years ago. Could be beavers rebounding along with willows after the big willow rust disease wiped out many willow stands across the White Mountains in the early 90s. Or could partly be that beavers are building more dams on the bigger streams than they used to and are just more noticable. Back in the 70s-80s there were more frequent big flows that would blow out beaver dams and a lot of beaver in the bigger streams would build their den/lodge in the streambanks and would just exist in the regular large pools instead of building their own pool. We used to call them bank beavers, not an official name, just describing their habits. Could also be removal of cattle from a lot of streams over the years, allowing more willow and alder to grow along the streambanks (more food for beaver).

I've had some interesting moments with beavers down on the Black River recently. Mostly a beaver scaring the s**t out of me when one slaps its tail on the surface right next to me as I'm wade fishing along a big pool, usually just before dark. That's always fun.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2019, 11:24 AM
Seldomseen Seldomseen is offline
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Originally Posted by M Lopez View Post

I've had some interesting moments with beavers down on the Black River recently. Mostly a beaver scaring the s**t out of me when one slaps its tail on the surface right next to me as I'm wade fishing along a big pool, usually just before dark. That's always fun.
Thanks for the reply.

I have had similar experiences. One early evening last summer while hiking out along the main stem near dusk, I thought someone started shooting and nearly hit the deck....then I remembered there was a beaver pond in a side channel.

Back in the late '80s or early '90s I ran into a trapper in Chevelon Canyon. He was a real charmer - not. Of course he trapped ALL the animals out of that stretch and it has take several decades for them to start showing again. While he was doing nothing illegal, his harvest sure seemed unwise, selfish and greedy.
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2019, 11:34 AM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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I was chased out of Dankworth Pond near Safford - part of the Roper Lake State Park - by an irate beaver one evening a few years back.

I was alone in my float tube, sun going down and heard the "smack" nearby, first thought was kids were messing with me throwing rocks, but when he surfaced about 5 feet away and slapped his tail again I kicked over to another end of the pond.

He followed me slapping his tail repeatedly, so, noting the size of the trees felled by his teeth on the banks, I decided to retreat to fight another day. Not any good ways to defend yourself with legs dangling under the tube.

Heard he was removed by park rangers not long after, for aggressive behavior...I could vouch for that
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:38 PM
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SAT SAT is offline
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Great stories regarding beavers! I had a similar experience on the San Juan river with beavers startling me by their tail slap. Itís a cool experience even though itís a bit frightening at first.

Has anyone actually ever been attacked by a beaver?
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:36 PM
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Westy Westy is offline
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Great stories regarding beavers! I had a similar experience on the San Juan river with beavers startling me by their tail slap. Itís a cool experience even though itís a bit frightening at first.

Has anyone actually ever been attacked by a beaver?
I've never been attacked but have had them swim and approach then tail slap and go. They will certainly make their presence known if nearby a den. Never heard of an attack but I'm always leary wading waist deep past a den or climbing around a beaver pond through brush, over beaver tunnels and loose sticks. They move quick, much faster than you think! I've been spoked a few times by them slapping the water or scurrying past me. Never know where they can pop out from.
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2019, 06:57 PM
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BigPoppa BigPoppa is offline
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I was fishing the Black by the 25 crossing early summer pre Wallow fire and some cow poke rolled up in his dually and in the back of his truck he had in two seperate cages two of the biggest dam beavers I had ever seen which he released in to the river. I sparked up a conversation and he stated that he worked for a private local ranch up by greer and they were becoming a probelm. I was all for it, I figured more beavers = beaver dams=bigger pools=crawdads= Alligator Browns!!!
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:55 PM
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stoneflynut stoneflynut is offline
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Originally Posted by M Lopez View Post
Regarding beavers, sure seems like there is an increase. Definitely not augmented. It's hard to say what's causing the increase. Could be a slow rise in the populations following the ban on trapping on public lands many years ago. Could be beavers rebounding along with willows after the big willow rust disease wiped out many willow stands across the White Mountains in the early 90s. Or could partly be that beavers are building more dams on the bigger streams than they used to and are just more noticable. Back in the 70s-80s there were more frequent big flows that would blow out beaver dams and a lot of beaver in the bigger streams would build their den/lodge in the streambanks and would just exist in the regular large pools instead of building their own pool. We used to call them bank beavers, not an official name, just describing their habits. Could also be removal of cattle from a lot of streams over the years, allowing more willow and alder to grow along the streambanks (more food for beaver).
Has anyone credited the reduction of elk herds with the increase in willows? Elk sure hit Aspen hard and like willows too. Just not sure all those cow tags translate into more willows. Around Flagstaff they have to fence them out to allow aspen regeneration even with the herd reductions.
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  #20  
Old 02-24-2019, 03:04 PM
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Zonie Zonie is offline
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That seems to be a logical deduction (more elk equals less willows), but it's more complicated than that. Apparently it is not the number of elk but the presence (or absence) of predators, specifically wolves, that matters most.
In an article entitled "Wolf Reintroduction Changes Ecosystem in Yellowstone" they found that presence of wolves led to a dramatic increase in willows, and then beavers. And it wasn't simply that the elk numbers dropped. In fact in one study the elk numbers INCREASED and the willows still rebounded. They found it was because the pressure of the wolves prevented the elk from "intensely browsing" on the willows all day long during the winter. This was enough of a difference to allow them to grow and flourish.
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