Blocked by a beaver, Dixon acequia without water for a week

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com
Posted 5/9/19

After about a week with no water in the Acequia de Llano in Dixon, parciantes are almost able to put all that spring runoff to use. The issue with the dry ditch is the result of beaver activity in the area.

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Blocked by a beaver, Dixon acequia without water for a week

Posted

After about a week with no water in the Acequia de Llano in Dixon, parciantes are almost able to put all that spring runoff to use.

The issue with the dry ditch is the result of beaver activity in the area.

When Gunnar Kubiak, the mayordomo, started moving water down the ditch as part of the annual cleaning, he noticed that the decent flow became little more than a trickle after passing through a 250-foot long culvert.

During the winter, a beaver filled a 22-inch diameter culvert with sticks and debris.

Because the culvert is located on a steep hill, acequia officials couldn't use equipment to clear the debris.

Kubiak hired someone to clean out the culvert -- hauling the dam out, bucket by bucket.

It's a laborious task that has taken the better part of six days, according to a Tuesday (May 7) interview.

The Acequia de Llano is the longest ditch in the Dixon valley (about 4.5 miles), and has the most parciantes, said Treasurer Cedar Koons. She said the landowners have been patient throughout the week, even though "everyone wants to water their trees" and take advantage of the runoff.

Attempts to live-trap the beaver last fall were unsuccessful. There's been no sight of it since the cleaning began.

Koons said there are plans to do a major repair to the 250-foot length of culvert this coming autumn. Other than that, she said, "We'll be vigilant to make sure it doesn't happen again."

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