Beaver lodges are found on most lakes and ponds in North America. But what we see is the structure above the surface of the water. We don't often get a glimpse of what happens underneath. Lodges are constructed so that they form a dome of sticks, logs, and mud that is almost impenetrable. All entrances are underwater tunnels so that predators can't get inside the lodge. The beavers swim under the dome and up inside it, comfortably safe and dry inside.
Beavers have evolved to be perfectly suited for such habitats. They have enormous, sharp teeth for chewing through even the biggest of logs needed to make their home. They are also well suited for swimming underwater for long distances, making it possible to come and go from the lodge without being in danger from predators. The young will stay in the safety of the lodge until they are large and strong enough to survive outside. Wolves and bears are the biggest threats to these animals.
Cottagers on a remote lake in Parry Sound, Ontario, placed an underwater camera in front of the entrance to a very big lodge. They knew that not only beavers called this home, but also fish of all types and sizes. They were not surprised to see beaver coming and going, although the clear footage and close up images were better than they expected. What was most surprising was the number of large bass swimming around the entrances almost constantly. Lodges are a preferred shelter for sunfish and small fish, so it only follows that the larger fish would not be far away. Something else they didn’t expect to see was a cormorant that was swimming through, hunting for fish. Cormorants are aquatic birds that look like ducks or loons. They eat exclusively fish and they are capable divers and very agile in the water. They obviously know that lodges are a great place to find food.
While some people are troubled by beavers on their lake, believing that they interfere with water levels, the truth is that they do a lot to keep the shore line from being overgrown with trees. They also provide excellent habitat for many other creatures.