Am I missing something? Is there an attachment with info on the Cone?

Good evening Corrine:

The purpose of the email is for the membership to vote on two motions with respect to the management of beaver activity at the south inflow point and the north outflow point.  After completing extensive due diligence, the board has decided that a Beaver Cone could be the most viable solution to manage beaver activity at one of the culverts at the south inflow point.  We are asking you to approve or disapprove these motions.

Bass Lake Association Board

Corrine Weanes (Powell Property)

Bass Lake Association Board

Discussion Board - Proposed Motions

This page was designed for all members to read comments on the proposed motions regarding the management of beaver activity at the south inflow points and the north outflow point.

Bass Lake Association Board

How soon will culvert be replaced?  I understand this will need to be done before cones can be put in place.  Who bares the cost of culvert replacement?  This seems like a BLRA issue.

Bass Lake Association Board

Hi Colleen.  The BLRA was measuring the culvert this weekend and they should be ordering it this week.  You are correct, the cost of the culvert replacement is the responsibility of the BLRA.  With respect to the Beaver Cone, the BLA and the BLRA will split that cost 50/50.

Catherine Walker

Per Officer Morrissey of the MNRF, who we spoke to on July 31st, the beaver dams pose no environmental threat to Bass Lake and are only a threat to the road.  Given the BLA's mandate to promote and engage in good stewardship of the lake, fundamentally ensuring the preservation of the lake and the surrounding natural environment, can you explain why the blockages at the culvert are considered a BLA issue?

Although I consider the beaver issue to be solely a road association issue, this motion has been put before the members of the BLA.  Given that, can you provide specific local examples of where the beaver cones have worked successfully.  Per Mike Callaghan of the Beaver Institute, beaver cones typically require regular maintenance and that is why he recommends alternative solutions as outlined in the sub-cimmittee report.  What maintenace are we expecting to be required and who will perform this maintenance?  Why do we think we will be more successful maintaining the cones vs the existing grate?  Was Ken Becking able to provide examples of where trapezoidal fencing was not effective?

What is the cost of the beaver cone?  And what kind of maintenance is expected?

Colleen Cooper

The Board conducted extensive research.  Ken Becking, who is the Director of Public Works for the township, advised us that the only device that shows some success is the Beaver Cone.  He advised us that the other methods would be money wasted.  Therefore, the Board feels that this is the most viabile solution to attempt and understands that it still might not work.

Corrine Weanes (Powell Property)

Is there a reason why we should NOT consider the recommendations from the report as published?  It seems the costs are similar.  I'm wondering if in your discussion with the ministry and local authorities there were reasons given to not follow the recommendations of the committee?

Bass Lake Association Board

The projected cost of the Beaver Cone is $1,715.33 and this cost will be split with the Bass Lake Road Association.  Our due diligence concluded that this was the most viable solution and maintenance is expected to be low.

Corrine Weanes (Powell Property)

The ordering of the culvert is a BLRA matter.  The BLA has not decided what they are going to do.  The results of the vote will dictate next steps by the BLA.  With respect to your new culvert concern, this is again a BLRA matter.

Bass Lake Association Board

Bass Lake Association Board

Hi Catherine.  We apologize for the delay in our response but as you know this board is made up volunteers who have careers and busy personal lives.  We are doing our best to manage everything on a timely basis.

To bring further clarity to this area, the BLRA is responsible for the road and as such will be financially responsible for the costs to replace the damaged culvert. The BLA board recognize that a clogged culvert is detrimental to the integrity of the road and therefore a BLRA concern. However, water flow into the lake is a concern of the BLA and this watershed is a significant entry point. We, the board, believe that having better control over this point of entry, through a shared cost installation of a beaver cone, is a valued investment. The estimated cost of the purchase and installation of the cone is $1,715.33 ($857.67 BLA share)

With respect to the wording of the motion as it pertains to restrictions, we must make it clear that the board supports the spirit of the sub-committee report and has made further investment to obtain local authority input into possible solutions. The information provided by the township has led us to the beaver cone solution. As already stated, the cone provides greater ease of access for maintenance and has a proven track record within the township. However, the board also recognizes that unforeseen events may require immediate actions, like trapping, to be carried out. The Board sees trapping as a last resort option.

With respect to the function of the board in general, historically, the BLA board has always performed its duties with the utmost care to the lake and the cottagers in a fiscally responsible manner. For each challenge faced, the board has worked to develop and implement solutions with these principles in mind and have done so with the full confidence of the membership. In general, boards are elected to make decisions for the betterment of the members/shareholders and are entrusted with this responsibility without the need to seek approvals for the decisions made. And it’s important to reiterate that members of the board are Bass Lake Cottagers who volunteer their time (and in many cases their personal resources) to the benefit of all. Elections for board and executive are held every second year on odd years and the board encourages more members to be involved.

Current management techniques are volunteers getting into the water and pulling out the sticks and debris that beavers have deposited. There are more parties involved (township / MFNR / owners). As already stated, it is of the utmost priority that the north outflow point remain clear to avoid the stagnation of the lake.


Sending this here as it won’t get posted to the discussion board regarding the motions. As head researcher and writer of the beaver report, I feel, based on the statement below, that the report that was 6 months in the making and on behalf of the many experts who work in the field, deserved an opportunity to clarify the incorrect information given by Ken Becking. 

I just read your reply on the discussion board. You quote Ken Becking stating that any device other than the beaver cone is a waste of money. This is incorrect. 


Michael Callahan ( is known worldwide for his research and the development of beaver mitigation devices. He has over 25 years of experience working in the field with beavers. He and Kari Gunson recommend a trapezoidal fence at the cost of $800 per culvert at the south end. A trapezoidal fence can be modified at any point to accommodate any challenges the beaver present. There is a multitude of information from a multitude of people & scientists who work and research in this field and between them all, have success rates of 90 – 99%. These devices are used all around the world with success. Search also Skip Lisle, Fur Bearers of Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, Martinez Beavers to name only a few.  

Ken Becking, the Director of Public Works for Muskoka is a civil engineer and probably hasn’t worked hands on with beavers and the challenges they present in different habitats. The beaver cone projects he bases his opinion on have been used in larger municipal culverts, not small private road culverts. A beaver cone cannot be modified if it doesn’t work. It becomes expensive redundant equipment. There is no information on the internet discussing the effectiveness of beaver cones. There are only websites of suppliers.  

For balance of the debate, please include Mike Callahan’s email about his opinion of the BeaverCone –  


“Hello Kristiina, 

I do not have any personal experience with the Beaver Cone. We never use them, preferring to build custom culvert protection at a far lower cost. I also have serious concerns about their design concept. In my experience beavers will find a way to plug up running water, and I suspect they dam up Beaver Cones regularly. That’s probably why they are designed with being cleaned off in mind. I prefer the devices we and Kari use which I know from 25 years of experience typically need less than one hour of cleaning annually.”  

Ultimately, I feel the BLA & BLRA is not addressing is the trapping of beavers. They acknowledge that trapping is still going to happen until the beaver cone is installed at the one culvert on Bass Lake Road and possibly beyond. They have not committed to putting mitigation devices into the other culvert at the south end of the lake or the north end, where the lake drains into Lake Joseph. Trapping is always going to be an ongoing, expensive solution that harms the watershed and ecosystem, not to mention taking the lives of many beavers.  

The other problem with the motions is there is no choice. Either we agree to what the executive is offering or we don’t. There is no room for a compromise or alternate options.  

There are lots of links to follow at the end of the beaver report to learn more.  

Please reach out if you have any questions. Thank you. 

Kristiina Musson

Nancy Currell

Cone purchase. 
In a response to Colleen this week the indication was that the culvert had already been measured & was to be ordered this week. So….why is there a vote when the BLA clearly has already decided what they are going to do. Another point is that the road is in a flood plain and needs to be raised. This was identified in a BLRA meeting several years ago. If you put in a new culvert of the same size the problem will continue.

Catherine Walker

Thanks for the response.  With respect to the south culvert blockages, I would suggest the point of this motion is to put cones in place, maintain those cones so there will be no debris build up and therefore there should be no risk to the lake.  I continue to struggle to see this as a lake association issue but will leave it at that for the sake of this discussion.

With respect to the motions, my concerns are as follows:

1.  South inflow points - this motion requests the ability to share the cost of a cone device between BLA and BLRA.  It does not state the cost.  The motion also states that if approved the BLA board is not restricted from employing other methods to maintain the integrity of the watershed.   What exactly are these other methods we would be approving?  Is there a limit to costs associated with these other methods before which the board would need to seek membership approval again?  Is the integrity of the watershed as stated the issue or is it the integrity of the road that is of concern?  I would suggest we have been trapping for a number of years now at considerable cost to the BLA and it has done nothing to change the watershed.  It would appear to me that if this motion is passed, the BLA board would have absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on how they choose to deal with beavers going forward.  Is this a fair statement?  I also question how the membership can make an informed decision without all of these details.  


2. North outflow point motion - can you please describe the current management techniques used at this point?  Is there any cost associated?  Who carries out these activities?  What is the nature of the financial support we are seeking?


To be clear, I fully support activities undertaken to maintain and more importantly improve the quality of the lake.  I also support beaver management techniques that do not involve trapping.  My concern is we are confusing two separate issues specifically at the south end.  I also believe the motion should be worded in such a way that it does not give the board absolute freedom to do as they choose from this point forward if approved. I appreciate this forum that has been established for the current beaver discussion and vote but would suggest more of this kind of activity should occur should the cone solution fail.  Is there a possibility of amending the south motion to require further discussion and a vote should further actions be required?


Good morning

With respect to your queries, we have prepared the following for your consideration.

The blockages at the culvert are considered a partial BLA issue becasue that buildup will discharge into the lake.  Therefore, moving forward that expense is shared 50/50 with the BLRA.

Ken Becking shared the Beaver Cone has been very effective in Torrance.  He encourages anyone to visit the site.  They said maintenance has been minimal but the chain on the end of the cone makes maintenance very appealing with thiw option.  One simply has to pull the chain to clear the debris.  Maintenance will be maintanined by the BLRA.  Again, the township has exhausted all of these devices and concluded the Beaver Cones are the most successful.

Website Created & Hosted with Doteasy Web Hosting Canada