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The removal of Aquatic vegetation is regulated by the state of Minnesota.
The following guidelines should help you determine if you need a permit or not.

When a permit is NOT needed

If you are a lakeshore property owner who wants to create or maintain a swimming or boat-docking area, you may cut or pull submerged vegetation, such as Elodea, without a DNR permit under certain conditions:

  • First, the area to be cleared must be no larger than 2,500 square feet.

  • Second, the cleared area must not extend more than 50 feet along the shoreline or one-half the length of your shoreline, whichever is less.

The 2,500 square foot area may also include a boat channel up to 15 feet wide, and as long as necessary to reach open water (the boat channel is in addition to the 2,500 square feet allowed). The cutting or pulling may be done by hand or with hand-operated or powered equipment that does not significantly alter the course, current, or cross-section of the lake bottom. Such control cannot be done with draglines, bulldozers, hydraulic jets, suction dredges, automated aquatic plant control devices, or other powered earth-moving equipment. After you have cut or pulled aquatic plants, you must dispose of them on land to prevent them from drifting onto your neighbor's property or washing back into the lake.

In floating-leaf vegetation a lake shore property owner may maintain a channel 15 foot wide extending to open water by mechanical means without a permit. Any other destruction of floating-leaf vegetation requires a permit. If you have questions on control activities that do not require a permit, please contact your local aquatic plant specialist .

If you plan to dispose of the aquatic vegetation someplace other than on your property you will need to download the aquatic plant transport authorization form. This form allows you to transport the aquatic vegetation to a suitable location for disposal.

Control methods which MUST HAVE a permit

  • Destruction of any emergent vegetation (for example, cattails and bulrushes).

  • Cutting or pulling by hand, or by mechanical means, submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet.

  • Applying herbicides or algaecides.

  • Moving or removing a bog of any size that is free-floating or lodged in any area other than its place of origin in public waters.

  • Transplanting aquatic plants into public waters.

  • Use of automated aquatic plant control devices (such as the Crary WeedRoller).

  • Physical removal of floating-leaf vegetation from an area larger than a channel 15 feet wide extending to open water


Apply for an online permit HERE

Fees for aquatic plant management permit depend upon the kind of control that you are doing, but generally will run about $35. (Please note it may take 2-3 weeks to receive your permit, so please plan accordingly. Once received, permits only need to be renewed annually) 


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