The Municipal District of Bonnyville’s Agriculture and Waste Services Department has brought on nine private trappers to help eliminate the M.D.’s beaver problems.
“We’re preparing now for the spring runoff,” said Matt Janz, Director of Ag & Waste. “We want water to move away from people’s properties as soon as possible, so residents don’t experience any flooding in the spring.”
Beavers may be hunted and trapped, without a license during all seasons, on privately owned land by the owner or occupant of the land, or by a resident with written permission from the owner or occupant of the land.
“Beavers can destroy property, roads and crop land by building dams, which cause overland flooding,” Janz explained. “We currently have an aggressive trapping program in place. The trappers have been strategically placed in the problem areas around the M.D., such as the Wolf Lake Road. The damage these animals cause can end up costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.”
Janz said by the end of fall, the M.D.’s trapping program will have eliminated over 400 beavers. “That’s just what our department will have done – that doesn’t count the beavers caught on private trap lines,” he said.
Janz said the department also has crews out using track hoes to remove dams around sensitive areas, such as highways, trestles, culverts and bridges. Another crew is blasting beaver dams with dynamite to help get the water flowing to where it ultimately belongs – a creek, river or lake.
Janz pointed out beaver dams and beaver houses are not the same thing. “We do not dismantle beaver houses or habitats, as it is against the law.”
He encourages any residents experiencing flooding due to beavers to call the Ag and Waste Department at 780-826-3951.