Commercial Record

‘Beavergate’ reports true, kind of

BY SCOTT SULLIVAN EDITOR

Reports of beaver trapping this fall at Saugatuck’s Peterson Preserve are true, said city manager Ryan Heise.

Rumors they were secret, ad hoc and might have even involved larger bear traps, less so. But it was lead-up to elections.

“The City of Saugatuck,” Heise said, “has been placed in the unfortunate position of removing beaver from the Peterson Preserve for the last three years.

“It’s my understanding,” the second-year manager went on, “that in the early 1960s pond work and stream alterations were made to Moore’s Creek, originating from Goshorn Lake.

“There are stories that this creek historically was spawning habitat for native fish, and later salmon/trout introduced to Lake Michigan in the late 1960s.

“We are aware of concerns about the trapping and the dam, which triggers an interesting discussion on the relevance of the dam from an ecological significance perspective.

The trapping is a permitted activity necessitated by need to maintain native habitat, prevent damage to the existing dam, and assists in mitigating damage to surrounding road base and other infrastructure upstream. 

“The trapping is complete for this year,” Heise said.

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