Historically, beaver activity near the outlet of lake Sarah has influenced seasonal lake water levels. Beavers typically stop the lakes' outflow by locating their dams either a few yards north of the old RR weir* or at the runout of the unnamed wetland on the north side of the current Soo Line tracks. Although this occasional activity has rarely caused damaging high water issues, the obstructions do need to be monitored and removed to prevent problems associated with spring melt and significant rain events. In past years groups of volunteers have gathered in the spring to clear the dams or debris from the outlet channel. Three Rivers Parks Wildlife dept. is currently assisting (Fall 2011) with the blockage as the current dam lies within TRPD property.
New Beaver Dam fall 2011- while on a hiking tour of the old RR grade from the west end of lake Sarah to the Crow River (abandoned in 1906 when the railroad altered the line to a route through Rockford instead of Greenwood) with CN railway historian Alton Cermak, Perrie Buffie, and myself, a fresh beaver dam was noted at the lake Sarah runout at the north edge of the cable crete mat. Photo below. LSIA was apparently already aware and had contacted TRP for assistance. (10/9/11) Beaver Dam Update - July 5, 2010. Three Rivers Park was granted a special nuisance permit for removal of the beaver(s) who keep building obstructions in our outlet. A trapper was hired and signs were placed in the area. The trapper has reported successful removal of several beavers and has now removed his traps. LSIA will continue to monitor the area to watch for any renewed activity in the future. Thank you to Three Rivers Parks for their assistance and quick action!
Beaver Dam Update June 16, 2010. Three Rivers Park was granted a special nuisance permit for removal of the beaver(s) who keep building obstructions in our outlet. A trapper has been hired and signs have been placed in the area. Residents are advised to stay clear of the trapping area and to please not interfere in the trapping or affect the beaver dam in any way during the trapping operation. Joe S. and Scott W. report they have removed the obstruction several times since late May. Thank you to Three Rivers Parks for their assistance and quick action in helping us deal with our furry little engineers!
Beaver Dam Update - May 30, 2010. Three Rivers Park issued a work permit for removal of the beaver dam and one time operation of an ATV on park property to assist in clearing the blockage of the lake Sarah outlet. Joe S. and Scott W. report the obstruction has been removed and water appears to be flowing more normally. LSIA will continue to monitor the situation throughout the summer.
Beaver Dam Update - May 2010. Renewed beaver activity in the vicinity of the old railroad weir is evidenced by the higher lake water levels. Reports from Joe S.and Scott W. indicate a significant blockage of lake outflow currently exists. Three Rivers Park officials have issued a temporary work permit for volunteers to access the site to clear the blockage between 5/17 and 5/31/10. Volunteers are needed, if you are willing to help please contact Scott Walsh. click here to view permit
Beaver Dam Update - April 9, 2010. Three Rivers Park Wildlife officials report the beaver previously residing in the vicinity of the Lake Sarah outlet has been successfully removed by their trapper on or about the end of March. Since another beaver may move in or there may be more beaver living in the area than just the one removed, any signs of new beaver activity should be reported immediately.
Update February 15, 2010 - located and maked by gps location of beaver lodge near outlet. Active lodge with frost encrusted vent near peak. GOS coordinates emailed to Three Rivers Parks Wildlife manager. TRPD has contacted a trapper who is planning to remove the beaver this spring. BLS
* the term "old RR weir" to refer to the lake water level controlling area of the outlet from lake Sarah has become commonplace due to its history as a part of the original Soo Line RR bed prior to 1907. A project to restore the elevation of the weir to help prevent unusually water levels was completed in 2004, information on that project and photos of the weir throughout its history can be found on the Outlet project page on this website.
The above aerial photo may be helpful when discussing the lake Sarah outlet (Sarah Creek) which originates at the northwest corner of our lake. The primary lake level control element is noted as the "old RR weir" and is a cable crete mat set at an elevation of 978.70' as restored in 2004 (see the Outlet project page for project information). Sarah Creek then flows north through a culvert under the current CP Rail (SooLine) tracks that run just south of Highway 55 then it turns west following the north side of the RR tracks and continuing through a culvert that passes under County Rd #92 and eventually to the Crow River near Rockford, MN. The un-named wetland (MN DNR #27-365W) that lies north of the RR culvert is controlled by the elevation of Sarah Creek at the southwest edge of the wetland as marked on the photo.