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Beaver damage

Waterway protection

When beavers create dams, flooding 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.

In some cases, flooding can drown stands of trees or beaver dams can block culverts. If a beaver dam is causing damage or is considered a nuisance, the dam can be removed without a permit, but only if no streambed or lakebed material is removed. Note that beavers are likely to rebuild the removed dam.

Please review the booklet Beaver Damage Control: Guidelines for People with Beaver Damage Problems for solutions that will work best for you.

Beaver Dams and Wetlands

If wetlands will be impacted through the discharge of fill as the result of beaver dam removal, consult the Wetland Regulations page to determine if a permit is required.

Beaver Dams and Trout Streams

For beaver dams located on trout waters, contact your local DNR Fisheries Biologist for assistance. Use this Trout Stream Maps page to determine if you are on a trout stream.

Animal 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.

Statutes and Code

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