Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Lakeshore property owners should know that removing aquatic plants, treating nuisance algae, swimmer's itch control, or altering the shoreline may require a permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR staff who issue permits for shoreline alteration or aquatic plant removal can help lakeshore owners avoid harming the lake or river near their home, said Steve Enger of the Division of Ecological Resources. "We encourage shoreline property owners to keep alterations as small as possible and to follow DNR guidelines," Enger said. "Changing the shoreline or improperly removing aquatic plants can seriously damage the lake in the long term." Plant removal guidelines Without a permit: Cutting, pulling, raking or harvesting submerged vegetation, like pondweeds, watermilfoil or coontail in a small area for recreation are allowed. Conditions: The cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet in size the cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along your shore, or more than one-half your frontage width, whichever is smaller if the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to pen water may be added the vegetation must be removed from the water. Without a Permit: Cutting, pulling, raking or harvesting floating-leaf vegetation, like water lilies, to create a channel to open water for recreation are allowed. Conditions: The cleared channel is not more than 5 feet wide and goes straight to open water the cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year the vegetation must be removed from the water. Aquatic plant management ($35 per property for a one-year permit) are needed if people are planning to: use herbicides or algicides; remove emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice installing or operating an automated plant control device (such as the Crary WeedRoller, Beachgroomer or Lake Sweeper); remove floating leaf vegetation in an area larger than 15 feet wide (see above); control submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet (see above); or remove or relocate a bog of any size. Activites not allowed Excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control. Use of hydraulic jets. Using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants. Removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas. Removing aquatic plants from an undeveloped shoreline. Removing aquatic plants that don't interfere with swimming, boating or other recreation. Shoreland restoration Many lakeshore property owners are restoring their shoreline property to a more natural condition. The DNR supports protection and restoration of shoreline, but encourages property owners to plan these projects carefully. A permit from the DNR is required to plant aquatic vegetation below the ordinary high-water mark of public waters. This will help reduce the potential for adverse impacts from these projects. There is no charge for this permit. Shoreline alterations Lakeshore owners who are considering projects that would alter their shoreline or lake bottom should review the DNR Waters Division permit requirements before starting work. Certain types of alterations below the ordinary high-water level of public waters or public waters wetlands require an individual Public Waters Work Permit. Activities that fall under this requirement include excavating; dredging; filling; and draining or placing structures, including docks of a certain size. Find more information on the Aquatic Plant Management Program and the Public Waters Work Permit Program on DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us/permits/water/index or www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/pwpermits/index. For more information about the Public Waters Work Permit Program, contact the area hydrologist at your local DNR area office or call the DNR Division of Waters at (651) 259-5700. People can also call the DNR Information Center (651) 296-6157 or toll-free (888) 646-6367.