After years of trying unsuccessfully to build a pond on their property, an Alberta family decided to call in some experts — beavers.

Pierre Bolduc and Sara Wiesenberg moved their family to an acreage about 10 kilometres southeast of Bragg Creek because Wiesenberg wanted space to ride horses and be close to nature. Bragg Creek is about 40 kilometres southwest of Calgary.

Bolduc wanted to build a pond on the property, in part so he and his sons could play hockey on the ice in the winter. He spent four or five years trying.

"It actually was met with terrible fiascos," he told CBC's Danielle Nerman. "Any time it rained, it would wash all the pebbles away and we couldn't keep any water."

Finally, he decided he needed help.


While many landowners try to keep beavers off their property to stop them from damaging trees and building dams, Pierre Bolduc's family hired trappers to move beavers onto their property. (Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)

He hired a trapper to move beavers onto his property. According to provincial regulations, permits are required to remove beavers from your land, but not to move them on.

Since the beavers moved in, Bolduc has been pleased with the work of the family of six.

"It's fantastic," he said.

Bolduc coaxes the beavers to build according to his plans by offering them already-cut logs and by using speakers to blast the sound of running water, something beavers are compelled to stop.

His neighbour is a sound engineer with a recording studio in his basement. He mixed him a CD of rushing water for him. 

Now, he has a new project that he wants the beavers to undertake – a new dam that will allow him to reach the water directly from his backyard with a canoe.