Traveling east on Holt Road in Sutton with a glance to the dam, you may think you’re seeing gold! Monday, the flashboards received an emergency facelift due to, believe it or not, damage caused by a beaver!
Matt Stencel, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Sutton reports a beaver chewed through two boards causing a leak. Mr. Stencel discovered the situation early Monday morning when he was taking a routine measurement. With the sound of rushing water, he knew something wasn’t right. Closer examination revealed that a beaver must have swam from the lake to the dam, falling over the flashboards into the culvert box. Unable to get back over the boards, it began chewing its way to the pond. The beaver’s activity resulted in a partial opening of two boards sending a rush of water through the culvert box, down the 15 ft drop to the earthen side of the dam taking the beaver with it downstream and resulting in its demise.
With the lake just 4 1/2 inches under full, and the high waterlevel greatly needed at this time of year for healthy fisheries and spawning/nursery habitats, to maintain the connectivity with the coldwater fisheries resource, and to serve as a reservoir providing a stable elevation for the summer season, the Highway Department went right to work. The low level gate was closed and a temporary, emergency repair made. A completely new face to the upstream side of the flashboards was installed – put in tight, thick and bolted for strength. This week more measures are planned to further block any flow under the boards.
Manchaug Pond Foundation extends a huge thanks to Mr. Stencel and the Highway Department for their commitment and care of the Manchaug Pond dam as well as their recent work on Manchaug Road in the protection of our water quality.