Important Changes and Definitions 
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Message from the Minister

Trapping is an activity with deep roots in Alberta. It continues to be a vibrant part of our culture, especially in northern and rural communities, and has made its mark on the economic, social and ecological history of our province.

Trappers are uniquely connected to the province’s landscapes. They are among the first to see changes to key markers of habitat health, such as furbearer density, distribution and abundance. This is why we ask trappers to submit detailed information on effort and catch. The valuable information that we receive helps improve our understanding of furbearer status and trends, allowing the province to more accurately set limits and ensure the sustainable harvest of target species. With this in mind, Alberta Environment and Parks will be engaging with hunters and trappers for their input on improving the system, reducing red tape, and enhancing other opportunities and experiences in the coming months.

The values of respect and stewardship for the land and the species that inhabit it are very closely held by those in the trapping community. These values help ensure that trapping activity in Alberta meets the highest ethical and humane standards and that international demand for Alberta’s wild furs remains strong. Respect and stewardship are also central to the evolving trapping technology and practices, as well as the Code for Responsible Trapping, to help ensure that trapping activity in Alberta conforms to the highest standards.

Trapping also provides economic benefits to our province. Alberta is widely recognized for the quality and value of its wild fur production, with Alberta fur exports averaging $5 to $6 million in revenue each year. In addition, trapping adds an estimated $4 to $5 million to the economy in Alberta’s rural and Indigenous communities.

Alberta enjoys an abundance of thriving furbearer populations, managed by trappers for the benefit of all Albertans. Please accept my best wishes for a safe and rewarding trapping season.

Sincerely,
Jason Nixon
Minister of Environment and Parks


Important Information for 2020-2021
  • Additional traps have been certified under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). Trappers are reminded that it is unlawful to use traps that do not meet the requirement of the AIHTS (click here for more information).
  • Trappers are reminded that for the voluntary fisher collection program only the heads of fisher are currently being collected. AEP will no longer be providing a $5 payment at the time of sample submission. We are currently discussing alternative incentives to promote participation in this program.
  • First time trappers must successfully complete the Alberta Trapper Education Course. If you are interested in taking the Alberta Trapper Education Course, contact the Alberta Trappers Association office in Westlock at (780) 349-6626, or visit albertatrappers.com/trapper-courses.html for a list of course locations and dates.
  • Bobcat season in FMZ 6 has been extended to align with the closing date for lynx season in order to minimize out of season capture of bobcats.
  • The sale of unskinned beaver carcasses captured outside of the trapping season for beavers is now legal. This allows for the sale of beavers captured as problem wildlife without removing the skins.
  • The sale of all parts of furbearers, other than the unprocessed skin is now legal. This allows for the sale of lures made from the parts.
  • Certified restraining traps are now mandatory for wolf and beaver (cages) (click here for more information).
  • There is no longer a requirement to register Wolves in WMU’s 300-318, 324-330, 339 or 400-434. All wolves harvested in Alberta under any authority do not require registration.
  • Non-residents residing in or within 30 miles of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, who trap on a registered fur management area that is wholly situated both north of the northern boundary of Township 118 and east of Wood Buffalo National Park, are exempt from the mandatory registration of fisher, lynx, otter or wolverine. Further, an Alberta Provincial Export Permit is not required to export such fisher, lynx, otter or wolverine outside of Alberta.
  • The prohibition for carrying a weapon on a OHV during an open big game season has been substantially reduced. Please see page 38 of the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations or visit albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs for a list of WMUs where the prohibition remains in place.
  • The black bear season has been extended to November 30.
  • The use of bait for the purpose of hunting black bears during the month of November is limited to meat and meat products.
  • Beginning in July 2021, all fur management licences will be issued through AlbertaRelm and will require that trappers obtain a WiN activation in order purchase a licence ($8+gst). This change will allow for the same online services that Alberta’s hunters and anglers now enjoy, including online submission of fur harvest reports. Many trappers currently have a WiN account, to enable the purchase of hunting and angling licences. This same WiN account will enable the purchase of fur management licences beginning in July 2021. Please see MyWildAlberta.ca for more information.

Definitions

The following definitions will help you understand this Guide:

Fur Management Zone (FMZ) – Alberta is divided into eight (8) Fur Management Zones, based on similar environmental features. Season timing and length is established on the basis of these zones, reflecting differences in furbearer status, trapping pressure and seasonal pelt quality.

Killing Device
  1. a device designed and set in a manner to trap and kill a fur-bearing animal by the action of the trap;
  2. snare set to tighten on the neck of a fur-bearing animal in order to kill it, where the energy to tighten the snare is provided by the animal; or
  3. a device that is set so that it will hold and kill a fur-bearing animal under water.
Partner – A person with written permission from a Senior Holder (see Senior Holder definition) to trap on the Senior Holder's Fur Management Area. A partner must be a Resident and must obtain a licence. Partners who are first-time trappers must meet mandatory requirements, before their partnership agreement can be approved. For further information, contact the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch.

Resident – a person who either
  • has his or her only or primary residence in Alberta and
       - is a Canadian citizen or admitted to permanent residence in Canada, or
       - has lived in Canada for the 12-month period immediately preceding the relevant date;

    or
  • is on full-time service with the Armed Forces of Canada and would, if an election were held under the Elections Act (Canada), be eligible to vote in Alberta under that Act.
Registered Fur Management Area (RFMA) – a parcel of public land the boundary of which is described on the original Registered Fur Management Licence.

Registered Fur Management Licence – a licence to hunt and trap fur-bearing animals on the lands described on the licence, as well as on private lands that the licence-holder owns or occupies.

Resident Fur Management Licence – a licence available for trapping on privately owned and some public lands not included in Registered Fur Management Areas. For further information contact the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch.

Senior Holder – the principal holder of a Registered Fur Management Area, and the person who has authority to give written consent to establish partnerships.

WMU – Wildlife Management Unit, a geographical area prescribed in legislation.

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