Ducks Unlimited works with Idaho Power … and beavers?

Ducks Unlimited, in partnership with Idaho Power, has completed construction work at the mouth of the Bruneau River, near the C.J. Strike Reservoir, to repair dikes and drainage channels that will eventually benefit wetlands in the Bruneau Delta.

“The infrastructure improvement will enable Idaho Power to drain the system if they ever want to do some real active, intensive management,” said DU Biologist Chris Colson. “But also allow the beavers through their dam building to regulate the water elevations with the presumption that as the dam breaks down over time and they rebuild it and with spring and late summer flows, we’ll get that dynamic elevation change in water that will start to drive a little more variability.”

“The construction activity is complete for now,” Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin said. “We are in a holding pattern to see what the beavers will do in the springtime.”

In the meantime, he said, activity will continue at the roughly 500-acre site.

“We’ll bring the water level up in April or May,” he said. “Depending on how things progress, we may add some willow and cottonwood plantings to enhance riparian cover and encourage the beaver activity. We will manage weeds and targeted cattle grazing around the complex.”

“Working with Ducks Unlimited has been amazing because they are the experts,” said Josh Pearson, Idaho Power Biologist. “And we can hand over a cool piece of property for them to design, implement, and build. Plus, they have some cool tricks up their sleeves that we probably wouldn’t think of.”

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