Busy beavers are plugging waterways and frustrating lake owners.

The Spider Lake Association is asking the county to remove a beaver dam on tax-forfeited land (TFL) to control water levels on that lake.

The Hubbard County Board opted to table the matter until their Aug. 18 meeting in order to gather information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and consult with the county attorney.

“This is basically the first step of a two-step process,” explained County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier at the Aug. 4 board meeting. “Water on Spider Lake has been abnormally high the last couple of years. The lake association is trying to take steps to lower the lake level. They’ve been meeting with the DNR on what the lake levels should be, and I think they’ve come to some agreement on that.”

Two spots are holding back water, Lohmeier continued. One is on TFL, the other on private land that drains into a pond on TFL. “There is a small drainage outlet there that is currently blocked,” he said. “They’d like to remove the dam from the tax-forfeited land prior to talking to the private landowner on the removal or opening of the beaver dam on the private land.”

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Lohmeier said there is a natural water flow through these areas – other than the fact that the beaver has clogged it up. The dam is on the south side of County 40, where there is a culvert.

“If they do let that water out slowly, it should not impact the tax-forfeited land or the downstream land owners. The water would drain into Shallow and eventually Belle Taine,” he said.

County commissioner David De La Hunt expressed concern about doing harm without advice from a DNR hydrologist and the county attorney.

“Water issues are a big thing,” he said, noting that lakes in the watershed are interconnected. “If you mess with any one particular lake on this and you don’t have some sort of way to control the level, you are going to have big problems.”

Lohmeier said he doesn’t anticipate Shallow or Belle Taine Lake levels to rise after the dam is removed.

  • Approved the quote of $58.87 per acre from Champion Forestry Service of Bemidji for bud capping on 674 acres of newly planted tree seedlings, as recommended by the county land commissioner.

  • Approved the $4,500 purchase of a permitting/fees software program from RTVision of Little Falls for the county highway department.

  • Approve the reprinting of 3,000 Hubbard County maps from Pro Print, Inc. of Duluth in the amount of $2,413.

  • Approved the county social service department’s purchase of a replacement transit bus for The Heartland Express, using CARES Act funds.

  • Discussed removal of a prescriptive easement on private land in Schoolcraft Township owned by Justin and Jason Kolanowski and Scott Willet. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1.

  • Scheduled a public hearing at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 to consider revisions to insurance liability requirements in the county ordinance regulating the use of county parks.