You may not ever see a beaver out and about at the Delaney Wildlife Management Area, but you can’t walk or paddle very far without seeing signs of their presence. Freshly-chewed poplar and alder branches wash up on the beach and the boat launch. Scent mounds serve as territorial boundary markers along the shore. Stick dams impound the waters in the wetlands above the Future Electronics spillway and clog the drainage culvert underneath Finn Road.
And of course there are the beaver lodges out in the ponds. How many lodges are there at Delaney? I know of seven, in various conditions, scattered throughout the property. Some are active lodges, with fresh mud and a submerged cache of recently-cut branches which will sustain the beavers under the ice until spring. Others have been abandoned for years, bleached white in the sun and sprouting purple loosestrife and other vegetation. How many have you seen?