Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Busy Beavers on Loch Linne

A dull and drizzly day, like so many we have had lately. Up to Loch Linne to see how the beavers are getting on and to do a spot of fly fishing. Earlier sites of tree felling have been neglected in favour of several new centres of activity. The loch surface was littered with bulrush stalks which are proving popular with the beavers. In places the wind had gathered the stalks together. It was apparent that the loch level had risen since our last visit. Small islets were almost submerged and there was no difficulty getting through the channel to Loch Fidhle. A fairly large tree had been felled. It measured 360 mm at the base with a trunk of 180 mm. There were few signs of activity in Loch Fidhle - of fish or beavers. Back in the main loch, we followed the side of the loch, heading for the outlet burn. There are signs of burrowing all along this edge, none of the burrows very deep. It is little wonder that the beavers were easily hunted - their activities are easily spotted with clear tracks out of the water and easily spotted burrows.

A large number of trees had been felled along this part of the loch edge, some of the activity surprisingly far from the water's edge and quite high above the loch. Several of the trees had caught up in other trees so the beavers had been unable to to get access to the branches.

Following the burn south, we soon came upon a dam. It isn't particularly high yet but enough to raise the level of the water by several inches. There was a pile of sticks at the side of the dam which, from their colour and condition, looked as if they had been removed from the dam. This burn normally has sea trout running up it but the dam will be enough to stop them reaching the loch.

The only trout activity was one very small brownie which was put back to grow on for another season. It will not take much more damming activity for the fishing jetty to be underwater.

Photos 1, Loch Linne Dam, 2, Felled tree with 360 mm base 3, Bulrush Stalks, 4, Felled Trees, 5, Sticks at side of dam 6, Water Level at fishing jetty.

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