River Otter Beaver Trial final report

Beavers have been breeding on the River Otter in Devon since at least 2015 and have been the subject of intensive study to understand their impacts. The River Otter Beaver Trial Science and Evidence Report has now been published and is available to download here.

Mike Blackmore, formerly WTT Conservation Officer and now working for the Wessex Rivers Trust, sat on the Fisheries Forum for the beaver trial and wrote this article for our journal, Salmo Trutta, in 2019.

More information, including the WTT position paper on beaver-trout interactions, is available on the Predators and Beavers’ library page on our website. The summary paper includes a matrix of postive and negative effects of beaver activity on trout.

The Wild Trout Trust position on beavers can be summarised as:

Beavers are not wholly bad or wholly good for rivers, for trout, for flood management and wildlife generally. A great deal depends on where the beavers live, particularly the nature of the habitat and what management is undertaken to mitigate any problems. 

Beaver female with kits 1 M Iike Symes comp
Beaver female with kits. Photo: Mike Symes