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“”Whether or not beaver dams are beneficial to trout and salmon has been hotly debated,” says ecologist Nick Bouwes, owner of Utah-based Eco Logical Research, Inc. and adjunct assistant professor in USU’s Department of Watershed Sciences.

Billions of dollars are spent for varied river restoration efforts each year in the United States, he says, but little evidence is available to support the efficacy of beaver dams.

“This may be due to the small scale of the limited research aimed at investigating restoration effects,” Bouwes says. “So, we conducted a large-scale experiment, where the effects of restoration on a watershed were compared to another watershed that received no restoration.”

Bouwes is lead author of a paper published July 4, 2016, in the journal Nature’s online, open access Scientific Reports that details the seven-year experiment conducted in streams within north central Oregon’s Bridge Creek Watershed. Contributing authors are Bouwes’ USU colleagues Carl Saunders and Joe Wheaton, along with Nicholas Weber of Eco Logical Research, Chris Jordan and Michael Pollock of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Ian Tattam of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Carol Volk of Washington’s South Fork Research, Inc…”

Read on at: Science Daily

Journal Reference:

  1. Nicolaas Bouwes, Nicholas Weber, Chris E. Jordan, W. Carl Saunders, Ian A. Tattam, Carol Volk, Joseph M. Wheaton, Michael M. Pollock.Ecosystem experiment reveals benefits of natural and simulated beaver dams to a threatened population of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 28581 DOI: 10.1038/srep28581