Lands under lease granting exclusive trapping rights
Traplines are parcels of land reserved for trapping. They may be located a wildlife reserve a controlled harvesting zone (ZEC), or lands in the domain of the State, but outside beaver reserves and Agreement territories.
The harvesting of a trapline is conditional on obtaining a lease with exclusive trapping rights for a nine-year term. This lease sets the conditions between the Gouvernement du Québec and the lessee relating to the harvesting of fur-bearing animals on this land. The exclusive rights awarded on a trapline are subject to compliance with the conditions of the lease. To know the geographic location and territorial boundaries of a trapline, you must write to the wildlife protection office of the region where it is located.
Obtaining, renewing and expanding a trapline
The holder of a professional trapping licence may hold land under lease granting exclusive trapping rights. The Government offers the available leases by a random draw each year around mid-June.
To obtain a lease, you must:
- be a resident of Québec
- have a trapper’s certificate with a “P” code
- be at least 18 years of age
- be registered for the random draw on the website of Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) (in French only).
A person may have only one lease. A person may participate in the random draw even if he or she holds a lease, but the winner of the draw must transfer or exchange the surplus land.
Any other holder of a professional trapping licence may trap on land under lease granting exclusive trapping rights with the authorization of its lessee. This person must carry the document attesting to the authorization to trap (PDF 277 Kb) obtained from the leaseholder. The person must show the document to a wildlife protection officer or assistant on request. The same rule applies to trapping on the land of an outfitter with exclusive trapping rights.
The lessee of a lease granting exclusive trapping rights must comply with the commercial pelt limit.
Paying the rent
You must pay the rent of your trapline each year by going to a licence sales outlet, between September 1 and November 1.
The cost of the rent is calculated according to the area of the land.
On April 1 of each year, the rate is indexed based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by Statistics Canada.
The rent payment is non-refundable. It applies for an annual period extending from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.
If the conditions of the lease are respected, a payment notice is sent by mail before September 1. The lease payment can be made separately upon the purchase of the trapping licence in two separate transactions at a sales outlet. As proof, the receipts for payment of the lease and the trapping licence must be retained.
You may construct buildings, such as a camp, to engage in your activity. However, you must comply with the standards and conditions established by regulation.
If you lose or abandon your trapping rights, you must transfer the buildings to the new lessee according to the stipulated conditions. The new lessee may only trap on the land after acquiring these buildings.
In the event the actual value of the buildings exceeds the maximum value established by regulation ($12 400) and if you do not authorize their sale at this maximum value, you must demolish or remove them within one year.
Renewing and expanding a trapline
To retain your lease, you must:
- pay your rent each year
- purchase your annual professional trapping licence
- comply with the commercial harvesting limit
- comply with the standards and conditions for construction and location of buildings
If the first two conditions are not respected, your lease will be cancelled.
Your lease will be renewed automatically if you comply with all the above-mentioned conditions. A new lease will be sent to you by mail. Check the accuracy of the personal information on each copy of the lease before signing it and returning it. If your contact information changes, send it to a person responsible at the controlled harvesting zone (ZEC), the wildlife reserve or the outfitter where your trapline is located.
If you wish to expand or change the area or boundary of a trapline, you must request this in writing to the wildlife protection office of the region concerned. Standardization criteria apply so that the area of a trapline complies with the average area of all the traplines of one or more fur-bearing animal management units (known as UGAF). You must also fulfill the performance criteria (e.g. trapper’s yield, exemplary record, etc.).
When the change is granted, you must pay a rent according to the new total area recorded on the lease.
The Government exceptionally could change the limits or the area of a trapline, for example, if there is a need to harmonize the use of a territory’s natural and wildlife resources.
Transferring, exchanging or cancelling a lease
You may transfer your lease with exclusive trapping rights to another trapper. You must complete the transfer application (PDF 118 Kb) by communicating with the wildlife protection office of the region concerned before August 1 of the current year.
You must assign your lease to a trapper who holds a valid trapper’s certificate with a “P” code and have trapped on your trapline during the year before the transfer of the lease.
The new lessee will have to pay the file analysis fees.
Moreover, the new lessee must not have received a lease cancellation notice nor have been convicted of an offence resulting in the cancellation or suspension of a hunter’s or trapper's certificate during the two years preceding the date of the transfer application.
If buildings such as a camp are erected on the trapline, you must wait for the written authorization of the ministère de l'Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP). The MELCCFP will verify the eligibility of a transfer of the lease (including an exchange of traplines) before proceeding with their sale. The application must include a deed recognizing the assignment of the buildings erected on the land indicated in the new lessee's lease. The transfer of the lease will be authorized when all the conditions are fulfilled.
You may exchange your trapline with another leaseholder with exclusive trapping rights. Your exchange application (PDF 118 Kb) must be made in writing to the Ministère de l'Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs before August 1 of the current year. Each of the holders must have trapped on the trapline during the year of the transfer.
The same conditions as for a transfer apply for a lease exchange.
You may bequeath your lease and your buildings to a person by indicating this in your will. The new lessee will have to comply with the same conditions as for obtaining a trapline. The new lessee must be both a designated lessee of the lease and an owner of the camp to be able to obtain it. This person may not only retain the camp. If this is the case, the lease will be cancelled or not renewed. The heir then must sell the camp to a new lessee selected by random draw.
Cancellation and non-renewal of a lease
Your lease is cancelled or not renewed if you made a fraudulent statement, if you voluntarily abandon it or if you did not comply with the established conditions, i.e. if you are in one of the following situations:
- you show an invalid hunter’s or trapper's certificate
- you do not pay your rent on the scheduled date
- you do not comply with the commercial harvesting limit
- you do not purchase your annual trapping licence or your licence is invalid
- you do not comply with the standards and conditions for construction and location of buildings (or a camp).
Your lease is cancelled immediately if you are convicted and if this conviction results in the invalidity of your trapper's certificate.
The Gouvernement du Québec could cancel or not renew a lease in order to harmonize wildlife uses with other uses of natural resources in a given territory, such as the creation of a national park.
When your lease is cancelled or not renewed, you must stop trapping there. You retain your right of occupancy until the sale of the camp to the new lessee becomes official. The obligation to sell your camp may begin only when the Government communicates with you in writing with the contact information of the new lessee designated in the lease.
Obligation for leaseholders
As lessee of a lease with exclusive trapping rights, you must comply with the commercial harvesting limit during the validity period of your licence.
Each year, you must reach this commercial harvesting limit, i.e. the obligation to sell at least 15 undressed pelts from at least 5 species trapped in the territory described in your lease. The sale must be made to a fur trader, dresser or auction house.
If the area of the trapline described in the lease is less than or equal to 20 km2, the number of undressed pelts that must be sold is reduced to 10. It must come from at least 3 fur-bearing animal species trapped in the territory described in your lease.
The undressed pelts must come only from your trapline mentioned in your lease. Fur-bearing animals trapped outside the territory described in your lease of exclusive trapping rights or on other traplines must not be counted in the calculation.
However, you may calculate the pelts of animals captured by another professional trapper who is authorized to trap in your territory. This other trapper must not have received any benefit. These pelts must be included with you during marketing.
Only the undressed pelt transactions effected no later than July 1 of the same year with a valid fur trader permit (auction house, tannery, taxidermist, etc.) will be counted in the commercial harvesting limit.
A Québec fur trader's form for purchase or receiving of raw wild animal pelts “Achat ou réception de fourrures d’animaux sauvages à l’état brut “) is the only form recognized for this purpose. You must therefore keep the copy remitted to you so you can prove you have reached this calculation.
You must also ensure the accuracy of the information reported in this form: name, trapper’s certificate number, number of captures by species and fur-bearing animal management unit of your trapline, and number of transportation coupons used for each black bear capture, if applicable.
Last update: February 23, 2023