Monday, April 27, 2015

Aquatic plant removal may require a permit

With lakes becoming ice-free and waters beginning to warm this spring, some lakeshore property owners may need a permit to remove aquatic plants from their shorelines.
“Each year we hear about property owners who get into trouble by removing aquatic plants,” said Steve Enger, supervisor of the aquatic plant management program for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We want people to know that a permit may be required to remove lake plants, which are essential components of freshwater ecosystems.”
The DNR’s aquatic plant regulations are summarized online at

“There are very specific situations and requirements that mandate when someone needs a permit to remove aquatic plants,” Enger said. “That’s why we encourage property owners to consult the regulations online to see if they need a permit.”

Aquatic plants provide food and shelter for fish and wildlife. They stabilize the lake environment, and help maintain water clarity by limiting the availability of nutrients and preventing suspension of bottom sediments. These plants also protect shorelines from erosion by absorbing wave and ice energy. A healthy aquatic plant community is a critical component to maintaining the high quality lakes that Minnesotans value.

“We love to fish, boat and enjoy time on the water in Minnesota,” Enger said. “Many of the features we enjoy most about lakes are directly linked to healthy aquatic vegetation. That’s why we want to work with property owners to answer their questions about what is allowed when it comes to plant removal on their shorelines.”

A guide to aquatic plants and information on aquatic plant regulations is available on the DNR website at, or by calling 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.