Invasive Aquatic Plant Management (IAPM)

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Invasive Aquatic Plant Management (IAPM) Permits

Invasive aquatic plants are non-native plants that can potentially create recreational nuisances to lakes and reduce native plant diversity. In some instances, when invasive plants become too abundant, they can cause economic or environmental harm. The DNR’s goal of invasive plant management is to minimize harmful effects caused by invasive plants while also protecting the natural resources and their use in the State. Once an invasive species is established in a waterbody, eradication is an unrealistic goal. Plant management is complex, and reductions in invasive plants often require long-term and resource-intensive efforts. Discussing your management proposal(s) with a local Invasive Species Specialist is recommended as a first step.

Management of invasive aquatic plants that involves either mechanical removal of plants or application of herbicides to public waters requires a permit from the DNR. Permits may be issued to property owners, lake organizations and local governments.

Commonly managed aquatic plants are:

Permit Issuance Criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications for invasive aquatic plant management permits.

  1. Target invasive aquatic plant(s) are found in the proposed treatment area.
  1. The proposed treatment method is selective for the target invasive plant(s).
  2. The proposed treatment minimizes potential negative impacts to aquatic habitat, including water quality.
  3. Additional criteria outlined in Rule 6280.0250 Subpart 3a shall be considered.

Apply for an IAPM permit through MPARS

You may apply for an IAPM permit online. You may also renew any previously issued IAPM permit(s). If you can't apply online, contact your local Invasive Species Specialist to request a paper application.

As part of your IAPM application, the following documents must be received before a permit is issued. You can upload these into MPARS at any time.
1. A map and/or Geographical Digital Data outlining the proposed treatment area.
2. Signatures from landowners affected by treatment. In some cases, you may request a signature waiver.


Cumulative Area

The littoral area is the surface area of a body of water where the depth is 15 feet or less and where most aquatic plants will grow. The littoral area is used to calculate the cumulative area in which aquatic plant management may occur. The following permit restrictions are intended to reduce risk of damage to native plants and impacts to water quality. Additional information is available on the value of aquatic plants and water quality.

  • Mechanical Removal: cannot exceed 50% of the littoral area
  • Herbicide: cannot exceed 15% of the littoral area
  • Mechanical and Herbicide Combined: cannot exceed 50% of the littoral area

In some instances, the DNR may allow treatment of more than 15% of the littoral area with herbicides or more than 50% with mechanical removal under a variance and a permit. Consult with the DNR prior to considering this type of treatment.

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Delineation Surveys and Field Inspections

Delineation surveys are used to map the distribution and density of aquatic invasive plants. They are useful in determining appropriate treatment area and size and in evaluating efficacy post-treatment. Surveys should be conducted on a seasonal basis. If you are considering invasive aquatic plant management, working with local governments, lake consultants or other partners may be helpful in determining the appropriate treatment area. Proposed treatment areas are usually dominated by invasive aquatic plants or areas of high recreational use.

A DNR field inspection is required for all proposed treatment areas prior to issuing a permit. A field inspection may be waived if the proposed treatment areas are delineated by a third party consultant or at the discretion of your local Invasive Species Specialist.


IAPM Permit Resources

Grant Programs

Grant money may be available to support aquatic invasive plant management.

Aquatic Plant Management Resources


Find your local Invasive Species Specialist.

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