Problem Wildlife: Beavers on Private Land

Beaver on My Property: What Can I Do?

Alberta Environment regulations state that beavers may be hunted and trapped, without a license and during all seasons if:

  • the land is privately owned
  • the trapping or hunting is conducted by the landowner, or by a resident with written permission from the owner or occupant of the land.

Beaver may also be trapped under a Fur Management License during an open season, or by someone who holds a Damage Control License (DMC). These licenses can be issued from any Fish and Wildlife Office in Alberta and they authorize the removal of beavers outside of normal trapping seasons.

Removal of Beaver Dams

It is against the law to disturb, or remove, a den or lodge without having a Damage Control License.

Removal of beaver dams may be permitted, but you should consult Athabasca County or Alberta Environment for guidance. They will provide information of how to deal with problem beaver and provide advice about ways prevent damage to trees on your property.

The sudden release of water from the removal of a beaver dam may cause damage downstream. You may be liable for the cost of repairing that damage.

Problem Wildlife Specialists

The County employs two full-time Problem Wildlife Specialists who are tasked with managing beaver problems by various methods including:

  • trapping (year round)
  • shooting problem beavers in select locations
  • removal of dams utilizing explosives, or mechanically with back-hoes and/or by hand

Along roadsides, around culverts the County uses ‘Beaver Stops’, rebar, or t-posts and mesh screen to protect the inlet or outlet of a culvert, and in a few circumstances perforated pipe inserted in a dam for pond stabilization. Protecting road infrastructure is a priority for the municipality and the County will utilize its own forces, or hire contractors, to make any necessary repairs to roads or culverts.

Damage due to the presence of beaver on private land is the responsibility of the landowner.