Invasive Species Permits

Invasives species sign

Permits Related to Invasive Species and Infested Waters

A variety of permits and authorization forms are available to help citizens, businesses, local governments, and research institutions comply with Minnesota's invasive species laws and associated rules. These permits are intended to minimize the introduction and spread of invasive aquatic plants and animals by people working, conducting research, and recreating in Minnesota waters.


Permit for Lake Service Providers


State law defines service providers as individuals or businesses who are hired to (1) decontaminate, install or remove water-related equipment or structures (such as boats, docks, lifts, rafts, etc.) from waters of the state, or (2) rents or leases water-related equipment that will be used in, placed into, or removed from waters of the state. All service providers are required to register for aquatic invasive species training and obtain a Service Provider permit.

Permit for Minnow Dealers

Minnow harvest is prohibited in listed infested waters without a permit. Minnow dealers who would like to harvest minnows in these waters must complete aquatic invasive species online training once every three years, pass an exam yearly, and submit the appropriate permit application by March 1 of the license year in which they plan to work in designated infested waters.

Permit to Take or Transport Infested Waters

A permit is required to take or transport any amount of infested water from listed infested waters, even if the amount of water to be taken is less than the amount that triggers a water appropriation permit. There are no fees for these permits. Applications are reviewed and issued through the DNR Invasive Species Program.

Permit to Manage Aquatic Invasive Plants

Depending on the size of the area and method of control, a permit may be required to remove nonnative invasive aquatic plants such as curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian water milfoil, flowering rush, or purple loosestrife near your shoreline. You should contact your local aquatic invasive species specialist if you are considering invasive species management on a lakewide basis.

Note: You can also acquire permits to control native aquatic vegetation through the Aquatic Plant Management Program. A permit to remove native aquatic plants is required because of the many benefits plants provide to the aquatic environment. Requests to destroy vegetation should be limited to areas where plants seriously interfere with recreational use. A flowchart is available to help you identify appropriate control options and determine whether or not your project will require a permit.

Permit to Possess Aquatic Invasive Species

Minnesota law classifies invasive species according to a four-tier system: prohibited, regulated, unregulated nonnative species, or unlisted nonnative species. Permits are required to possess, import purchase, sell, propagate, transport, or introduce prohibited invasive species, such as zebra mussels, invasive carp, and curly-leaf pondweed. A permit is also required to introduce regulated invasive species such as spiny waterflea, rusty crayfish, and yellow iris into public waters. There is an application and evaluation process that must be completed before introducing any unlisted nonnative species.

Authorization Forms to Transport Invasive Animals and
Plants (Non-commercial)

Several Authorization Forms are available in lieu of permits for specific activities such as transporting a boat to a cleaning and storage location, and transporting prohibited invasive species to a disposal site. Authorization forms are not permits and it is not necessary to apply to the DNR to use them. Simply download and print the appropriate form and carry it with you during transport.

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