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Beaver damage

Waterway protection

When beavers alter their environment to suit their needs, flooding from beaver dams can result in large areas with deep standing water where once only shallow, slow-moving water existed. When this happens, plants and animals that are adapted to wetlands can appear quickly in the flooded area as new habitat is created.

Beaver Damage


Exemptions and permits

  • There are no exemptions for beaver damage.


In some cases, flooding can drown stands of trees or dams can block culverts. If a beaver dam is causing damage or is considered a nuisance, they can be removed without a permit, but only if no streambed or lakebed material is removed.

The environmental benefits provided by beaver ponds and wetlands should be weighed against the damage before implementing any beaver control.

Please review the booklet Beaver Damage Control: Guidelines for people with beaver damage problems for solutions that will work best for you.

Trout streams

For beaver dams located on trout waters, contact the local Fisheries Biologist for assistance. Don't know if your stream is a trout stream? Map it!

Damage complaints

Animal damage complaints can be handled by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)- Wildlife Services Department at 608-837-2727 or Toll-Free at 866-487-3297.

Other permits

Local permits and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations may also apply. We advise you to contact your local zoning office and your regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office [exit DNR].


Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.123, Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR], Chapter NR 320 [PDF exit DNR], and Chapter NR 12.10 (b)(3), Wis. Adm. Code.