State program helps with beaver problem

Staff Writer

Beavers cause enough damage to state and county roads each year that the state has a program -- the Beaver Control Assistance Program -- counties can tap into.

Clay County pays $7,500 a year for its share. Half of that amount is reimbursed by the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, according to Chancery Court Clerk Amy Berry.

Johnny Carter, who is a state employee, handles beaver control along state and county roads in Clay, Chickasaw, Oktibbeha, Webster and Choctaw counties.

While his schedule varies depending on weather and a number of other factors, Carter's monthly reports to Clay County show he spends between 32 and 40 hours a month in the county trapping in problem areas reported by county supervisors, road crews and others.

Many of the areas are in the western part of the county, which is criss-crossed by numerous, creeks, streams and tributaries.

According to his reports, he harvests 13 to 20 beavers a month.

Last year brought some differences because drought dried up some habitats near roadways and bridges. Early rains this year already are showing signs of changing that.

"It generally runs about the same month-to-month. Last year it was dry so that made  it a little different," Carter said.