Busy beaver expert prepares downtown Martinez dam for winter storm

A beaver expert from Vermont was removing debris from the beaver dam in downtown Martinez this morning in preparation for a winter storm expected to hit the Bay Area early Thursday.

Skip Lisle, a Vermonter known for his expertise in installing so-called “beaver deceivers,” was in Alhambra Creek today working on the dam, Martinez City Councilman Mark Ross said.

Weather experts have predicted that some parts of the Bay Area could be drenched by up to 2 inches of rain by the end of Thursday and nearly 4 inches by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Ross, who sits on the city's beaver subcommittee, said the public works department would be keeping a close eye on the water level in the creek when the rain begins.

“Our co-habitation plan is fully in swing now,” Ross said.

The creek, which is the primary drainage channel for a 17-mile watershed upstream from the dam, used to overflow and flood downtown Martinez every other year on average until the city completed its 9.5 million flood control project.

In November the city council discussed killing the beloved rodents after a hydraulics study determined that the dam was negating most of the flood control efforts.

Public outcry prompted the city to first work to get a permit to relocate the beavers and then to come up with ways to keep the beavers in the creek.

Public works crews installed a cable and two boat anchors in the dam so that if emergency measures become necessary, the dam can be yanked out quickly, according to Ross.

Lisle is planning to install a beaver deceiver that will allow water to flow through the dam without the beavers noticing. The device is designed to prevent the busy rodents from thinking they need to patch their dam.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read