Important Changes and Definitions 
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Message from the Minister

My family and I have a strong connection to trapping, and I recognize the value of trapping in our province, both due to my personal experiences and as Minister of Forestry and Parks.

Alberta continues to enjoy an abundance of thriving furbearer populations, which are carefully managed to ensure their health and sustainability for the benefit of all Albertans. Furbearer management is a key benefit of trapping and is made possible through the sharing of traditional knowledge and expertise with each new generation of trappers.

Ethical and humane trapping are an important part of the responsible stewardship of Alberta’s public lands – helping to maintain healthy, diverse ecosystems. The guidelines followed by our trappers conform to the highest standards in the world – ensuring the humane treatment of animals and strong markets for Alberta’s wild furs.

This long-term success is due in great part to the values passed down within families who have held traplines across our province for generations. We appreciate the value of time-honoured traditions followed by families who consider their traplines to be an important part of their tradition and livelihoods.

We know Albertans are counting on government to take a responsible, balanced approach to wildlife management. Trappers help us meet this expectation by providing a critical service in managing wildlife conflict – from beavers flooding vital infrastructure to predators impacting livestock.

As Minister of Forestry and Parks, I have had the opportunity in recent months to meet with many trappers throughout the province and hear your feedback. I look forward to meeting more of you and wish you a successful and safe trapping season.

Todd Loewen

Minister of Forestry and Parks

Important Information for 2023-2024
  • 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 (pages 10-12).
  • Trappers are reminded that for the voluntary fisher collection program (see page 19) 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 for a list of course locations and dates.
  • 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.
  • REMINDER: For Registered Fur Management Licence holders, please ensure you renew your annual licences by September 30 each year. This is a requirement under the Alberta Wildlife Act and Regulation, and not doing so may result in your RFML privileges being revoked


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 fur-bearer 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;

  • is on full-time service with the Canadian Armed Forces 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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