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Beavers

Beaver swimming with a log in its mouth.

Beavers are nature’s engineers. Their dams create wetlands and ponds which are habitat for fish, water birds, amphibians and a host of other plants and animals. Unfortunately, beavers can create management issues on private and public lands. For example, the beaver’s need to dam water can cause extensive flooding and can damage crops, property and grazing lands.

Beaver Management in Surrey

On public lands where beaver activity poses no threat to the public or property, the City of Surrey has a policy of no interference and their activities will be tolerated.

Private property owners are responsible for the primary control of beavers on their property, including agricultural waterways. On private property where there is no threat to public or property, we recommend that owners take a stewardship approach and not remove the beaver, dam or lodge. The City can provide consultation services to the public on how to protect (or "beaver proof") your property, but assumes no liability for implementation.

Beaver Trapping

Trapping of live animals will only be preformed when the animal does not disperse or when significant property damage is occurring, and other exclusion methods are not feasible. Relocation will be considered only if an appropriate receiving area can be identified and confirmed by a qualified professional wildlife biologist and Ministry of Environment accepts the relocation plan.

Beaver Proofing Your Property

Beaver prooding a property can include:

  • Installing exclusion fencing along the bottom and sides of a watercourse. Install fencing early, which allows beavers to build against the fences for easier removal.
  • Wrap mature and/or significant trees with hardware cloth or wire to prevent gnawing.
  • Install fencing along watercourses near row crops, trees stands, riparian restoration sites and agricultural areas
  • Install fencing around water control structures.
  • Install beaver bafflers, beaver deceivers or other technologies in areas of chronic occupation, or where dams cannot be removed or destroyed.
  • Dam removal where possible and only after obtaining appropriate approvals and permits from the Ministry of Environment and/or Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
  • Installing trees and shrubs that are unpalatable to beavers. Some native species include red osier dogwood, salmonberry, cascara, spruce, and elderberry.