Clubroot of Canola was first discovered in Edmonton in 2007, and has rapidly spread throughout the province of Alberta at an unprecedented rate. This pathogen spreads through the movement of soil. This is mostly done via farm equipment, but many other methods such as ATVs, shoes, and wildlife can spread the pathogen as well.

The pathogen causing clubroot, Plasmodiophora brassicae, produces resting spores that are activated by the presence of host plants’ roots. These resting spores become zoospores, which infect the roots; this causes ‘clubbing’ or galls on the roots. When the plant dies, the galls decay, releasing the spores into the soil where they await another host plant to re-start the lifecycle.

Blasting

Since the establishment of Lac Ste. Anne County in 1944, blasting has been routinely employed as the quickest and most cost-effective method of beaver dam removal. Each year, Agricultural Services will proactively blast dams in locations historically prone to flooding, and will similarly assist landowners who contact the County to request beaver dam removal services.

The County does not have a legislative duty to provide beaver mitigation on private land. However, blasting services are provided to landowners where possible and permissible for a nominal fee of $100 per dam. Contact the Agricultural Services department at 780.785.3411 (toll-free 1.866.880.5722) or agriculture (@) LSAC.ca to request assistance with beaver dam removal on your private land.

In all cases, beaver dam removal using explosives will be performed by licensed certified blasters. Consideration will always be given to environmental impacts of beaver control operations by following provincial and federal legislation and policy.

To Blast or Not to Blast?

When Ag Services blasters consider removing a nuisance beaver dam using explosives, they use a decision tree as a guidance tool. Factors like proximity to infrastructure, environmental factors, and above all else safety will dictate whether blasting is a good choice, or if alternate means (like mechanical removal or use of a pond leveller) are more advisable. The County's Beaver Dam Decision Tree is a good starting point for any landowner considering beaver dam removal.

Blasting

Since the establishment of Lac Ste. Anne County in 1944, blasting has been routinely employed as the quickest and most cost-effective method of beaver dam removal. Each year, Agricultural Services will proactively blast dams in locations historically prone to flooding, and will similarly assist landowners who contact the County to request beaver dam removal services.

The County does not have a legislative duty to provide beaver mitigation on private land. However, blasting services are provided to landowners where possible and permissible for a nominal fee of $100 per dam. Contact the Agricultural Services department at 780.785.3411 (toll-free 1.866.880.5722) or agriculture (@) LSAC.ca to request assistance with beaver dam removal on your private land.

In all cases, beaver dam removal using explosives will be performed by licensed certified blasters. Consideration will always be given to environmental impacts of beaver control operations by following provincial and federal legislation and policy.

To Blast or Not to Blast?

When Ag Services blasters consider removing a nuisance beaver dam using explosives, they use a decision tree as a guidance tool. Factors like proximity to infrastructure, environmental factors, and above all else safety will dictate whether blasting is a good choice, or if alternate means (like mechanical removal or use of a pond leveller) are more advisable. The County's Beaver Dam Decision Tree is a good starting point for any landowner considering beaver dam removal.

New Federal Regulations Hinder Beaver Dam Mitigation via Blasting

Due to recent changes to Bill C-68 (the Fisheries Act), a Request for Review form is now a legal prerequisite to explosives being used as a beaver dam removal method anywhere in Canada. As a result of this new requirement, the County anticipates delays in processing such requests going forward.

Under the new federal legislation, if your project is taking place in or near water, you’re responsible for:

  • understanding the impacts your project will likely have on fish and fish habitat
  • taking measures to avoid and mitigate impacts to fish and fish habitat
  • requesting an authorization from the Minister and abiding by the conditions of your authorization when it is not possible to avoid and mitigate project impacts on fish and fish habitat
  • ensuring compliance with all statutory instruments, including federal and provincial legislations

In the early spring of 2020, Agricultural Services submitted close to 30 new Request for Review applications to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. These applications were for areas already known to the County as beaver habitats that have historically been problematic.

By the beginning of May 2020, the County's initial set of applications had been approved by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, reflecting a turnaround time of roughly six to eight weeks. That being said, Lac Ste. Anne County was one of the earliest adopters of the Request for Review application process. As such, it remains to be seen how quickly applications will be processed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans once this new application process is employed more consistently by other municipalities aross Canada.

Click Here to learn more about Bill C-68 and how this new legislation prevents the County's timely removal of beaver dams via blasting.