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Trigger Regulations for Beaver Trappers

This Regulation Applies if You:

  • Trap in the Southern Zone
  • Trap in a WMU in the Southern Zone during a closed otter season, and
  • Use a body-gripping trap larger than eight and a half inches (these are "330" size traps)

How to measure a trap

Revision to the Trigger Regulation for Beaver Trapping

If you trap beaver in a southern zone WMU during a closed otter season and use a body-gripping trap larger than eight and a half inches, you must use a trigger with the following specifications:

  • must be a two-way trigger - tension-adjustable trigger is optional
  • trigger stop no longer required
  • trigger length must be 6 ½ inches or less
  • trigger wires must be joined together
  • trigger must be moved to the side to create a minimum 8-inch space between the trigger wires and the opposite side of the trap

For additional background and information on these trigger regulations see:

Instructions for modifying triggers (PDF) (62 KB)

Trap testing presentation (PDF) (1.2 MB)

Modifying 330s (PDF) to avoid catching otter (232 KB)

Specific requirements of the regulations are shown in the diagrams below:

diagram of correctly modified body gripping trap
1. Body-gripping trap with tension adjustable/
parallel trigger and trigger stop - NOTE: A tension-adjustable trigger is optional and a trigger stop is no longer required (see above).

diagram of acceptable trigger designs
2. Examples of acceptable tension
adjustable/parallel triggers - NOTE: A tension-adjustable trigger is optional (see above).

diagram of Non-Legal and Legal trigger brackets
3. Example of Non-Legal vs. Legal
Trigger Brackets

diagram of acceptable trigger stops
4. Examples of Acceptable Trigger Stops - NOTE: A trigger stop is no longer required (see above).


  1. You can bait these traps in any manner. However, the trap must have all the features noted above.
  2. There is no exception for traps set under ice: traps set under ice, whether baited or not, must have all of the design features noted above.
  3. There is no tension requirement. However, DEC research showed that 8 to 12 oz. of tension works best for protecting otter and catching beaver.

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