Commodore Heights property owner Henry Vlodder indicates historic water levels.

Commodore Heights property owner Henry Vlodder indicates historic water levels.

Beaver dam war causing muddy creek waters

An ongoing battle with a beaver dam in Commodore Heights is most likely the reason Missioner Creek was muddy last week.

An ongoing battle with a beaver dam in Commodore Heights is most likely the reason Missioner Creek was muddy last week, property owner Henry Vlodder told the Tribune.

The dam, while located in a department of highways right of way, is next to 12 acres of property Vlodder owns adjacent to the highway.

Vlodder has owned property in the area since 1977. He sold his home on Commodore Crescent in 2010 when he retired, but still owns the 12 acres.

Over the years, the beaver dam in question has caused water levels to rise to a point that septic systems were backing up and people were calling Vlodder for help.

The water mostly comes from run off, he said, pointing to many areas of the creek bed that are completely dry.

In May, a permit was issued to remove the beaver dam and Interior Roads hauled four dump truck loads of materials from the site, Vlodder said.

Within a few months, however,  the beavers were rebuilding it and up until Sunday, Vlodder was back at the site trying to remove some of the dam and that’s probably when Glendale resident Ron Ackerson noticed the creek running muddy through his property, a few kilometres away below.

On Monday the Tribune introduced the two men to each other. Ackerson confirmed the creek started running clear on Sunday, which coincided with the fact Vlodder stopped pulling materials out of the beaver dam that day.

Vlodder told Ackerson he wished the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure would fill the area in with rocks so the beavers couldn’t build a dam.

But the dam isn’t  Vlodder’s only problem.

In the 1980s highways installed a ditch up to a certain point to direct water so it wouldn’t flow onto his property.

In 1988  installed a culvert to help direct the water further.

Recently, however, he arranged for fill to be brought to his property from the airport where they are building the new fire centre.

After he cleared out the culvert on both sides, near the area where the fill was going in, he got a ticket from the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Operations for breach of regulations.

And on Wednesday Vlodder said he learned the fill is being examined by the ministry.

The ministry confirmed last week it is investigating, but declined further comment.