Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

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)

Trap testing presentation (PDF)

To avoid catching otter: Modifying 330s (PDF)

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

Body-gripping trap with tension adjustable/parallel trigger and trigger stop

illustration of body gripping trap with tension-adjustable trigger
NOTE: A tension-adjustable trigger is optional and a trigger stop is no longer required (see above).

Examples of acceptable tension adjustable/parallel triggers

illustration of adjustable/parallel triggers
NOTE: A tension-adjustable trigger is optional (see above).

Example of non-legal vs. legal trigger brackets

illustration of non-legal vs. legal trigger brackets

Examples of acceptable trigger stops

illustration of acceptable trigger stops
NOTE: A trigger stop is no longer required (see above).

NOTE:

  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 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.

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8924.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYS DEC
    Bureau of Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4755
    518-402-8883
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions