Aquatic plant management program

Striving to balance aquatic plant conservation and user needs

Image of aquatic plants interfering with access, swimming, or other recreation opportunities.

A healthy lake relies on a healthy community of aquatic plants. These near-shore plants – commonly referred to as weeds – often are perceived as a nuisance.

The purpose of the DNR's aquatic plant management program is to balance native plant conservation with the desires of lakeshore residents to recreate and access their property. State law establishes what property owners can do to control aquatic plants. DNR fisheries APM staff administer those controls via a permitting system.

Selective control of invasive aquatic plants within an entire lake is managed by the DNR's invasive aquatic plant management program.

Are you thinking of destroying aquatic plants? Is it necessary?

If so, any of the following activities require a permit:

  • Destruction of any emergent vegetation such as cattails, bulrushes and wild rice.
  • Cutting or pulling by hand or mechanical means submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or greater than 50 feet along shore.
  • Applying chemical pesticides such as herbicides and copper sulfate.
  • Moving or removing a bog of any size.
  • 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.
  • Hiring someone to mechanically remove aquatic plants or doing it yourself. Contact the APM program coordinator.

Still unsure if you need a permit?

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