The battle with aquatic plants can be endless for some lake shore property owners who want to keep a pristine looking lake front. But the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding lake shore property owners that a permit may be necessary for removing aquatic plants.
Steve Enger, supervisor of the DNR’s aquatic plant management program reminds owners of the benefits of aquatic plants and hopes the issuing of permits will help avoid harming the lake or river near their home. Enger said, “Aquatic plants serve many important functions in the lakes.” Even if they are a nuisance to most they prevent shoreline erosion, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow algae. Enger warns that removing to many plants can damage their ability to perform important functions.
A permit is not required for all aquatic removal and property owners can control a modest area for swimming or boat docking. Under the following conditions cutting, pulling or harvesting aquatic plants in an area for recreation is allowed:
– The cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet in size
– The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along the shore, or more than one-half of frontage width, whichever is less
– If cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water may be added
– The cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from water
– If floating leaf vegetation, like white or yellow water lilies, interfere with boat access, a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain (cutting or pulling) a channel no more than 15 feet wide, extending to open water without a permit
A DNR permit is $35 and is required if planning on doing any of the following:
– Using herbicides or algaecides
– Removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice
– Installing or operating an automated plant control device
– Removing floating leaf vegetation, in an area larger than a 15 foot wide channel
– Controlling submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet
– Removing or relocating a bog of any size
For more information on aquatic plant management and regulations to follow visit the DNR website or contact the nearest fisheries office.