Aquatic plants growing in public waters are owned by the state. The purpose of the Aquatic Plant Management Program is to protect native vegetation and the aquatic environment from unnecessary harm while allowing lakeshore homeowners to control some aquatic vegetation for water access. The use of pesticides in lakes to control submerged vegetation or aquatic nuisances, the use of automated plant control devices, or the destruction of emergent vegetation by any means, require DNR permits. Permits are issued by aquatic plant management permitting Staff . All four DNR regions are staffed by Aquatic Plant Management Specialists.
Overall program coordination is also managed by staff in the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These staff are responsible for developing and providing educational and informational materials for permit applicants; for providing technical advice to the general public; for coordinating with the Department of Agriculture on herbicide regulations; for updating and revising the aquatic plant management rules; for working with commercial aquatic plant harvesters; and for coordinating statewide efforts with the regional fisheries aquatic plant management specialists. The program includes a full-time aquatic plant botanist responsible for focusing research on native aquatic plant communities.
The Aquatic Management Program also includes an effort directed at pesticide enforcement. Aquatic pesticide enforcement specialists supervise herbicide treatments and investigate reports of the misuse of pesticides in lakes or the unlawful destruction of aquatic vegetation.
You may apply for an aquatic plant management permit online. If you are unable to apply for aquatic plant management permit online contact your Aquatic Plant Management Permitting Staff for a paper application for permit.