Management of the beaver population

The mapping and diagnostic of the watersheds of Petit lac des Cèdres and Grand lac des Cèdres, completed in 2014, indicates that the beaver population is problematic, particularly in two streams where their dams obstruct the flow of water throughout the basin. These dams can occasionally reverse the flow of water between our two lakes. This is a situation we want to avoid for the following reasons:

  • The Ruisseau des Cèdres (between the two lakes) is one of the rare places in Quebec where lake trout spawn naturally. Maintaining the flow of water is essential to preserving this habitat.
  • The free flow of water provides for a level of oxygenation essential to the health of the lakes.
  • Petit lac des Cèdres has a problem with Eurasian watermilfoil. We want at all costs to prevent the plant from migrating through the stream. If the flow of water is reversed, the fibres of the plant could move up toward Grand lac des Cèdres.

For these reasons, the Association invests the effort to manage the beaver population in Ruisseau des Cèdres and the creek just north of Petit lac des Cèdres.

For every year since 2016, the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec has granted a special permit for the capture of beavers and the dismantling of their dams. A certified trapper, with the help of a team of volunteers, performs the necessary work following best practices as recommended by the ministry.

Those interested in the regulations governing beaver management in Quebec are invited to read the document prepared by the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, available in French, entitled Résumé des exigences réglementaires relatives à la gestion des castors et au démantèlement de barrages de castor.

 

Chronicle of activities

2020

  • September: Some of our members noticed that the water level in Petit lac des Cèdres was higher than usual. Beaver dams had slowed the flow of water between our lakes in the watershed. Our team of volunteers followed the recommendations of the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs and dismantled the dams. It was a demanding and arduous job to restore the natural flow of water and thereby return to conditions favourable for lake trout spawning in the fall.
  • You will notice that we installed a water level gauge in the Ruisseau des Cèdres. It will allow team members to monitor the water level and to compile statistics useful for the management of the flow of water in the watershed. This is an important concern for lake oxygenation and lake trout spawning.

2019

The level of beaver activity required little intervention by the beaver management team.