For those that will have aquatic vegetation (aka “weeds, reeds, lilly pads” etc.) here is what can and can’t be done with aquatic plants in Minnesota.
Per Minnesota law, the emergent and submergent vegetation in public lakes belong to Minnesota.
– Excavate the lake bottom for aquatic plant control
– Use hydraulic jets
– Destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants by using lake bottom barriers
– Remove aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas
– Remove aquatic plants from an undeveloped shoreline
– Remove aquatic plants where they do not interfere with swimming, boating, or other recreation
Owners can (with a permit):
– Destroy emergent vegetation (for example, cattails and bulrushes)
– Cut or pull by hand, or by mechanical means, submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet
– Apply herbicides or algaecides
– Move or remove a bog of any size that is free-floating or lodged in any area other than its place of origin in public waters
– Transplant aquatic plants into public waters
– Use automated aquatic plant control devices (such as the Crary WeedRoller).
– Physically remove floating-leaf vegetation from an area larger than a channel 15 feet wide extending to open water
Owners can (without a permit):
Lakeshore property owners who wants to create or maintain a swimming or boat-docking area 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.