Although beavers provide many positive environmental values, they can also cause property damage. Presently, beavers are abundant in Minnesota. To help landowners and others manage beaver damage, the Minnesota DNR offers the following information and advice.
In many cases, beaver damage cannot be effectively managed unless the offending beavers are removed (killed). Removing a dam without removing the resident beavers generally results in the dam being immediately rebuilt. Live relocation of beavers, or any other protected wild animal, is not legal in the State of Minnesota (Minnesota Statute 97A.501, Subdivision 1; 97A.105, Subdivision 7) without a DNR permit.
Taking beaver during the open trapping season (typically the last Saturday in October through mid-May) is encouraged. Your local Conservation Officer or Area Wildlife Office may have names of experienced trappers who might be willing to trap beavers for you. Fees, if any, will vary with seasons and individuals.
If beaver damage is occurring on your land, you as the landowner or occupant, may shoot or trap the animals without a permit or license (Minnesota Statute 97B.655).
To remove beavers from property other than your own, you need permission from the landowner(s), and a permit from your local DNR Conservation Officer. This permit (form NA-012650-02) is free and can be obtained by contacting your Conservation Officer. The trapper, while conducting removal activities, should carry a copy of the permit.
State, county, or local governmental employees, while on duty as a representative of that government, do not need a permit while doing beaver removal on land under their jurisdiction.
To remove a dam by explosives, contact the local Sherriff’s office for the names of licensed explosives experts.
In some cases, lakeshore has been developed in conformance with water levels resulting from a beaver dam controlling the outlet for many years. Before removing a beaver dam in that situation, it is suggested that you contact the DNR Area Hydrologist.