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Muddy

Hey Do beaver ponds hold fish?

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Hey Fellas; I went hiking today ( ought to have my head examined) we went back to check out a few ponds we fished and noticed a new pond and  A BEAVER DAM! The pond is prety sizable. will a beaver pond hold fish/ Is it leagal to fish them?

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Hey Muddy,

It really depends on the water that feeds the d**n and how old the dam is. I used to fish one in northern Wisconsin that had some nice fish. As far as legality it depends on whether its public or private land and your states regulations.

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We are going back next week, it is on a border line between state game lands and a farm, we will ask the farmer . We never go in that way, but the lot was too full of snow and ice so we went in the back way. I do not even know how old it is, it comes off a dammed in stream, that holds trout. but I do not know if after stocking do they survive.

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Just a thought, a #1 or #2 mepps might be the ticket. I'd love to hear if you have any luck. Gotta love finding new water.

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I fish a good sized pond/lake that has about 3 30-50 lb beavers that occupy it and I have caught many bass out of that lake. As for the legality of fishing I could not tell you but here in Va it is completley legal to fish wether public or private land.  ;)

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When I lived in SE Nebraska they had tournaments where you could fish anywhere because there were no lakes close by.  The very first place we would go was a little beaver puddle no more than 5000 square FEET and we would catch a limit of 2#ders in 15 minutes then go look for bigger fish esewhere.  I'd definately check it out.

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I think Pa fisheries and WV fisheries have alot in common.Having said this, i think your beaver stream is definitely holding fish of some sort.If the water has gotten up after a stock the fish will more than likely have been pushed down. A big beaver pond is an awesome way for them to get out of the rougher or (messed up) water in my opinion. I know of hundreds of Ponds like this in Northern and central WV. I'm sure there is not much difference between PA and WV.

Is there any Natives in the stream?

Smallmouth or rockbass?

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I dont really know when and if I find out I will post Thank You

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I haven't fished a body of water created by a beaver dam before but I've fished several pre-existing ponds where beavers had moved in. I've always caught fish directly off of the beaver lodges and it's also where I usually find the biggest fish in that pond. If you think about it, a beaver dam or lodge provides instant cover for the fish. So definitely, if the stream held fish before the beavers moved in, try it out and target the beaver's dam. You might even end up with the biggest, hardest fighting catch of your life - an angry 40 pound rodent.

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Beaver dams are like giant brushpiles that come out of the water. I'm sure they hold fish when fish are looking for shallow wood to use as cover.

As for the legality, I know some places that don't allow fishing beaver dams and some that do. As far as I know, the local organizations for those waters made the rules in the interest of conservation and habitat maintenance, so I don't know if there are actual laws against it. It could be different in PA anyway, so the best bet is to get some advice from someone in PA or just call up the Department of Wildlife. You don't want to get busted by a warden because someone told you wrong.

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Hey Muddy,

I've not known beaver ponds with bass in them, mostly because beaver are attracted to the sound of running water, and so tend to make dams in areas of rushing current where bass are less apt to be. They often make dams further upstream than bass tend to reside. But, beaver ponds with trout are a common scenario.

Beaver ponds often vary in quality of the fishing with age. When dams are first formed the local trout are provided larger water and often trout will grow quickly in them. Also, larger trout already in the system will collect in beaver ponds -trout tend to move a lot throughout most stream systems, over the course of the year.

If you can find a newly built pond, even up in a tiny headwater creek, you could have a real lunker producer. It pays to purposely keep track of beaver activity in trout systems for this reason. Usually the first 5 years produce best in terms of growth of the local population -trout grow fast when the lid is off. Later, silt inundates the channels and insect diversity suffers, shifting to midges. Also, ponds are great nursery habitat for YOY trout so they, especially brookies, will often overpopulate a beaver pond in just a few years. Combined with poorer food choices, growth suffers.

But...older ponds may hold some behemoths, especially if browns are present. In some systems old beaver ponds with stunted brookies will hold several 17-20+inch brookie-munching browns that tend to hold in the deeper channel pockets, with or without cover, during high light periods. Big browns are somewhat similar to big largemouths -don't let the fly-boys (although I'm, one of 'em) steer you into fishin' too dainty in such ponds. Night fishing can be the best crack at them. You can even fish topwaters. Oh yes..during the day especially, they are WAY spooky. You'll need to learn the best approach and to literally stalk to the water's edge. Jeeesss..I'm getting excited for you already, and we don't even know what you've got yet LOL.

Beaver dams can act as barriers to migrating trout moving upstream too, and from late fall through early spring big browns on spawning runs can be found in deeper pockets, runs, and holes just below. Definitely worth adding this scenario to your to-do list.

Beaver ponds can be bad news in some trout waters though. In warmer stretches further down the watershed beaver ponds can further warm these stretches, and coupled with the siltation, can ruin the trout fishing.

Hmmmm..there's probably other stuff but that's what comes to mind right now. Glad to hear you're traipsin' around. All the good stuff lies off the beaten path.

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Thank you all, This spring may bring some new fun~

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I fish a good sized pond/lake that has about 3 30-50 lb beavers that occupy it and I have caught many bass out of that lake. As for the legality of fishing I could not tell you but here in Va it is completley legal to fish wether public or private land. ;)
you mean private as in not posted right?? i go to Virginny often and i see a whole lot of ponds near the road with no signs and a few with signs

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muddy if and when u get to fish this beaver dam/pond watch out for them beavers them little jokers will sneak up on ya and surprise ya with a nice tailsmack to the water .at night this will make u dribble down both legs

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I'm not sure about bass, but are there trout in the area? I've heard of some monster brookies and browns coming out of old beaver ponds.

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Theres a little pond near me that has Beavers and has some good size fish. :)

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Hey Muddy,

 About ten yeard ago beavers dammed up a small stream that runs through a swamp and woods that borders our property. All said and done the dam was about 8 ft tall and 25 ft long. The pond ended up being about 25 acres when said and done. The best part was that when we were kids we used to put minnow traps in the creek to catch live bait and I knew it was full of shiners, craw fish and all kinds of chubs and other minnows. Turns out a few neighbors put some bass in it and the place absolutely took off. It was impossible to fish from shore because it was all swamp land around the edges, never mind the brush. My buddy stashed a jon boat in the woods and we used to have a blast for years. I caught some of the biggest largemouth of my life out of that place. Turns out when we had those huge storms a few summers ago the dam got washed out and all of the bass got washed down stream. The beavers rebuilt it but not very well and its only a couple of acres now. Ah, the good old days! :)

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Thank you all. We have since found it it lays on both private and public land, you can only go so close to the dam itself( we have to find out on this one) it is 4 years old and there are trout in it.

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eh Muddy,

I have done a little bit of trout fishing and have had beavers swim past me while fly fishing the small creeks (muncy and loyalsock) what a sight to behold when they swim real close to you, scared me the first time it happened especially when the wap their tail!

A little further up the creek above the dam they made was beautiful for fly fishing for trout, the water was backed up to create a new flow off to the side where I fished up through and almost missed the damm, never gave it a thought about being legal when I made my limit of nice trout,

Also have had the opportunity to fish some smaller creeks where the beaver dams are many but water is slow moving and shallow, didn't do so good there catching only brook trout less than legal but again didn't question the legality of being there other than being on someone's property!

I don't trout fish much anymore but I will be interested to find out if I have been fishing illlegally in the past.... really ... might give me a new outlook on where to go this year for bass!

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I am only thinking not only illegal but not too safe fishing lets say standing on part of the dam. They have some nice size limbs and stuff taht you could stand on to cast in, thats what my concern is.

  Do they still trap beavers in our state?

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All the beaver dams I've been on were stable, but easy to trip on stuff -no worries there.

The one thing I'd be aware of is this scary scenario, and it is a potential anywhere when wading:

When wading watch out for deep mud or silt. Anglers have stepped into it, got stuck, then fell over into the water and drowned. This is something you might not think of when chasing after those fish. I became aware of this when a couple anglers drowned in shallow water in a stream I used to frequent. (JohnF if you stop in here, it's the mud slides at Linear).

I've had this almost happen and you don't always know you're in potential danger until you find you can't move your boot, in danger of falling over, and surrounded by water -even very shallow water if you fall face first!

This is a very real potential hazard around beaver ponds because of the amount of silt that ponds can accumulate. When water levels fall, or the stream course shifts, lots of deep silt can be left for an angler to wander into. Don't be scared, just aware of it.

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I do not like to wade in soft bottom water - especially ponds.  Always gives me the creeps.  Paul, I fish Linear quite frequently, but not for bass, and I know where you're talking about  ;)

Anyway, there is a set of ponds a buddy of mine showed me that feature at least one large active beaver dam, and we've both caught several large bass from there.  

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I have a similar pond in my comunity park - Few of my buddys were asking the same question so I think this will help.

How can you tell how old the pond is? DoW is my only guess.

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