Aquatic Vegetation

Aquatic plant regulations

Under Minnesota law, aquatic plants growing in public waters are the property of the state. Because of their value to the lake ecosystem, they may not be destroyed or transplanted unless authorized by the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources as stipulated in the Aquatic Plant Management Rules. A “public water” is generally any body of water 2.5 acres or larger within an incorporated city limit, or 10 acres or larger in rural areas. If you are unsure whether a particular lake is public, please contact your local Aquatic Plant Management Permitting Staff  PDF .

Activities NOT allowed:

  • Excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control
  • Use of hydraulic jets  PDF
  • Destroying or preventing the growth of aquatic plants by using lake bottom barriers.
  • Removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas.
  • Removing aquatic plants from an undeveloped shoreline.
  • Removing aquatic plants where they do not interfere with swimming, boating, or other recreation.

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.