As long-time abutters to the mill pond of the Knowlton Dam of the Megunticook River, my wife and I thoroughly enjoy the array of wildlife that is attracted to that largely ignored body of water and thus were glad to see that Allison McKellar, in her Dec. 22 column, shares our appreciation for those cute and ingenious critters, beavers.

The dam that Ms. McKellar describes as a “starter” is actually a rebuilding of the dam of a very successful beaver colony that already flourished there in the early 1990s when I started boating on the river. There were two large lodges, one behind the dam and another 100 yards below it. The beavers also had a burrow in the mill pond bank below the Lions’ Club building, which may still be inhabited. They would cruise the river and pond every summer evening, greeting us with tail-slaps when we came to watch them and then coming into our back yard to dine on the bounty from our apple trees in the fall.

Then they suddenly disappeared. Someone told me that a Rawson-Ave. abutter, whose property their dam flooded, had had them trapped out, while others theorized that they had cut down all the saplings behind the dam appropriate as a food supply.

After that (from about 2010 on) we would see other lone beavers, yearlings perhaps, trying to start something in unpromising places, such as the Knox Mill Pond or even the stretch of falls between the Montgomery Dam and the harbor. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that we began to see the efforts to rebuild the old Rawson Ave. dam, i.e., those described by Ms. McKellar.

It was heartening to see someone like Ms. McKellar, an ardent proponent of taking down dams, so positive about the appearance of a little community of dam builders in our river. I would be curious to know how a successful beaver dam on the Megunticook would impact the utopia of sea-run fish and river-length boating that she has been advocating?

Respectfully,
Charlie Graham
Camden