For cottagers, beavers are often a real nuisance. As some of you have experiences, they cut trees on the shoreline, build huts on our docks and sometimes disturb late evening swimmers.
That is why one of the key services the DCA provides to it’s residents is beaver control. Municipalities take charge when their infrastructures are at risk but when they roam our lakes we are on our own.
- Beavers just love quiet and peaceful lakes like ours and especially some of their trees: poplar, birch and alder, their favourite food.
- You will usually find one family or colony on each lake. Each one contains from two to twelve individuals.
- Mating occurs in the January – February period and little beavers – 3 or 4 at a time – are born in May. They become adults in a couple of years.
- There are beavers throughout North America now. In Quebec, highest population densities are found in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Outaouais and in the Laurentians.
- Their natural predator is the wolf. Many also die from tularemia, an infectious disease.
- Trapping season begins October 25 when their pelts have some value.
- Beavers are especially active at the end of summer when they prepare for winter. Those who damage our shoreline are caged and sent to zoos or hunting grounds where they are desired. If they do a lot of damage they can be trapped.
- When traps are set, signs are put up and residents personally informed and asked to keep their pets on leash for a few days.
- It is estimated that there are 3.5 beaver colonies per 10 square kilometres in our region. Using that rule of thumb, there would be about five colonies in the Dunany watershed. With an average of 5 beavers per colonies, that would be a total of 25 beavers in Dunany. Which, by the way, is the estimate that our trapper Marcel Gauthier gave us.
- We now work with Marcel Gauthier – a very experienced trapper who lives in Lachute – to achieve that goal. He intervenes when beavers damage our properties as he did in all lakes in 2015.
- Now that he knows our territory and the habits of our beaver colonies, we should be able to be more proactive and use different techniques such as Morency Cubes to prevent them from reaching our lakes in the first place.
Bottom line, we will always have beavers around or in our lakes. What we can do is to control that population to make sure that as few as possible reach our lakes.