North Raven River Beaver Management Project

The North Raven River (NRR) brown trout (Salmo trutta) fishery is widely regarded one of Alberta’s best. Management of beaver (Castor canadensis) activity in the NRR began in 1973 and is considered necessary to maintain the trout fishery. Management includes removal of beaver, beaver dams, and feed caches. It has been over two decades since the observations and assumptions underpinning beaver management along the NRR have been critically assessed. For our assessment, we reviewed recent studies of beaver and fish interactions and completed a redd (i.e., the gravel nest created by spawning trout) survey to document spawning activity in the NRR upstream of Highway 761. Our literature review indicated that low-gradient groundwater streams like the NRR are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of beaver activity on trout productivity. We counted over 1,600 trout redds during our survey; redds occurred in such high densities in some reaches that it became impossible to distinguish between individual redds. Trout spawned throughout much of the survey reach, including areas frequented by beaver. Current beaver management practices appeared to allow for unimpeded trout movement throughout most of the survey reach. Our assessment is scheduled to continue in 2020/21.


Alberta Environment and Parks

Annual Summaries

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Title Year Category
North Raven River Beaver Management Project 2019-2020 1