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Beavers beware!

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December 2, 2004

Worth County-- Beavers are known for damming waterways and burrowing under roads, both can cause expensive damage. To avoid those costs, county commissioners call in the expert, Kirk DeKalb.

Beavers have stopped up a small stream, and Kirk DeKalb is trying to stop them. "This is a tremendous problem," he says. Unclogging it will get the beavers active again.

Very seldom do you catch beavers at work, but the damage is visible. They clog pipes. And make tunnels underground, making roads weak. "They are a nuisance. " says farmer Jereld Carter.

His irrigation pivot fell deep into a beaver's burrow. He called in the expert. DeKalb is a hired beaver trapper in five southwest Georgia counties.

His job is to get rid of the underground culprits. "I work directly with the county commissioner's office."

A couple of yards from the highway, the beavers have built a home in Worth County. They've been busy damming up the creek and when it rains too much, the water goes over the road. "If we were in Colquitt County and you had to repair the damage that has actually been done and go out right now and repair it, I'd say it would be an estimate between three and five million dollars, just in Colquitt County," DeKalb said.

This trapper gets $25.00 a beaver. "I usually average between 250 to 300 beavers a month, says DeKalb. He's busier during the winter months when the beavers are busy at work. He has caught beavers weighing up to 100 pounds.

Kirk Dekalb says beavers normally work at night, so if you see beavers during the day, that means you have a lot of them.

On a positive note, when beavers construct dams, they create a habitat for a large number of wildlife.

posted at 5:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com