Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species Permit Information

For more information or assistance with the permit application process, contact the DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist in your area.

Prohibited Invasive Species Permits

State laws and rules prohibit the possession, importation, purchase, sale, propagation, transportation, and introduction of prohibited invasive species without a permit. The laws specify that the DNR Commissioner may issue permits for the following purposes: scientific research, educational uses, control of the invasive species, or disposal of the invasive species.

New in 2022: you may use this new general permit to import and possess red swamp crayfish (Louisiana crawfish) for disposal.

Several exemptions apply to the requirement for a prohibited invasive species permit. You may carry out the following activities without a permit:

  • transport purple loosestrife, as provided by the state noxious weed law in Minnesota Statutes, sections 18.75 to 18.88;
  • transport the invasive species to the Minnesota DNR, or another destination as the Commissioner may direct, in a sealed container for purposes of identifying the species or reporting the presence of the species;
  • transport prohibited invasive species for disposal as part of a harvest or control activity under a permit issued by the Commissioner according to section 103G.615 or as specified by the Commissioner;
  • transport prohibited invasive species for disposal as specified under a commercial fishing license issued by the Commissioner; and
  • immediately return prohibited invasive species that are removed from watercraft and equipment, or caught while angling, to the water from which they came.*

*Note: If the prohibited invasive species was not listed previously as occurring in that waterbody, it should be collected and brought to the DNR for identification.

Regulated Invasive Species

It is legal to possess, import, purchase, propagate, transport, own, or sell a regulated invasive species, however a permit is required to introduce them into a free-living state, for example to release or plant them in public waters. The purpose of designating a species as regulated is to prevent the introduction of the species into a free-living state. Therefore, permits for the introduction of regulated invasive species are limited to tightly controlled research projects conducted at the university level. If you are interested in a regulated invasive species permit, please contact your local invasive species specialist.

Unregulated Invasive Species

There are no invasive species permits related to unregulated invasive species. There may be other applicable game and fish requirements for species such as brown trout and ring-necked pheasant.
Unregulated nonnative species list - Minnesota Administrative Rules


Unlisted Nonnative Species

Unlisted nonnative species are those that are not listed as prohibited, regulated, or unregulated. Several steps must occur before an unlisted nonnative species may be legally released into a free-living state: an application and supporting information must be filed with the DNR by the individual proposing to release the species, a thorough evaluation by the DNR, and designation of the species into an appropriate classification.

General Permits to Transport Prohibited Invasive Species and Aquatic Plants

You need a permit to transport prohibited invasive species and aquatic plants, even if they are attached to a boat or other equipment, or headed to a cleaning or disposal location. These forms specify how boats, equipment, or aquatic plants may be transported in compliance with state laws. Simply download the appropriate permit from the following link, print, and carry the completed and signed permit with you during transport.

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