For cottagers, beavers are often a real nuisance. As some of you have experienced, they cut trees on the shoreline, build huts on our docks and sometimes disturb late evening swimmers.
One of the 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.
Since beavers are unpredictable, residents should protect valuable trees on their proprieties with mesh or fences.
Here are a few things you might want to know about them.
- 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.
Our trapper since 2015 is Marcel Gauthier, a very experienced trapper who lives in Lachute, He intervenes when beavers do serious damage or threatens our properties.