Important Changes and Definitions 
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Message from the Minister

Trapping is a way of life for over 1,500 Albertans, providing social, economic and environmental benefits to communities from the northern boreal forests to the southern mixed-grass prairie and everywhere in between.

Alberta is highly recognized for the quality and quantity of its furs, from its lynx, marten and wolf pelts from registered fur management areas in the mountains and boreal forests, to the lushly coated coyotes from the southern parklands and prairies. Today’s trappers provide a critical service in dealing with wildlife conflict situations, from beavers flooding vital infrastructure to predators impacting livestock.

Our province enjoys an abundance of fur-bearing species, and the Alberta government remains committed to ethical and humane trapping as part of a responsible and effective wildlife management strategy that supports the province’s overall conservation efforts.

Trappers are passionate environmental stewards with a unique connection to our landscape. The information they submit about the effort and catch is extremely valuable in identifying trends, and helps ensure sustainable harvests for future generations.

Trapping is a multi-generational activity for many families in Alberta, creating opportunities to connect with the landscape and develop an ongoing understanding of ecological function and health. The Alberta Trappers Association is a valuable collaborative partner, providing training opportunities to a new generation of trappers, complementing the informal training that young enthusiasts receive from parents, grandparents and others in the trapping community. Passing down shared ethics and values helps ensure that trapping in Alberta meets the highest ethical and humane standards and that international demand for Alberta’s wild furs remains strong for years to come.

Your core values of respect, family and community, integrity, accountability and education ensure that sustainable harvesting and management of wild fur-bearers continues for the benefit of all Albertans. Please accept my best wishes for a safe and rewarding trapping season.

Whitney Issik
Minister of Environment and Parks

Important Information for 2022-2023
  • 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.
  • Proposed changes to the AlbertaRelm licensing system to allow for the issue of fur management licenses have not been completed for the 2021-22 trapping season, and so the current manual process will be maintained. Begininng in July 2022, fur
    management licenses may be purchased online, using your Wildlife Identification Number, similar to the current process for
    hunting and fishing licenses. This change will allow for the same online services provided to Alberta’s hunters and anglers, including online submission of fur harvest reports. The existing manual process for purchasing all fur management licenses will continue to be available for trappers not wishing to participate in the electronic process through AlbertaRELM.
  • 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 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;

  • 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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