Native plants within the water and along the shores of waterbodies have many benefits. The provide habitat for wildlife such as fish, ducks and herons. They also help clean the water and reduce algae levels by absorbing excess nutrients. Along the shore, a buffer or strip of vegetation can reduce erosion and prevent some pollution from entering the water.
You can learn more about aquatic plants by visiting the MN DNR's Guide to Aquatic Plants.
Aquatic Plant Regulations
Federal, State and local regulations may restrict the removal or manipulation of aquatic plants within and along the edges of waterbodies. Listed below are the regulations that most often apply to City residents with wetland, pond or lake property.
Map of Regulations
For a summary of the waterbody regulations that most often affect residents, take a look at the Map of Lake & Pond Regulations.
The City of Burnsville has established ordinances to protect aquatic plants on certain types of waterbodies. For a summary, see Regulations for Lakes, Ponds & Wetlands.
The State of Minnesota has jurisdiction over Public Waters. Within cities such as Burnsville, any wetland, pond or lake of 2.5 acres or more in surface area is considered a Public Water. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulated activities on Public Waters such as the removal or chemical treatment of aquatic plants.
To learn more, check out these topics on the Minnesota DNR website:
For questions about aquatic plant management permit requirements contact the DNR Aquatic Plant Management Permitting Staff in the Central Region: Phone (651) 259-5779 or (651) 259-5816.
Aquatic Plant Identification
- DNR Aquatic Plant Types
- DNR Guide to Aquatic Plants
- U of M: Aquatic & Wetland Plants of Central MN (PDF)
Aquatic Plant Permits
- DNR Aquatic Plant Permits -Link to the DNR's aquatic plant permit process
- DNR Aquatic Plant Regulations - includes info on permit fees and how to apply
- Targeted at Burnsville residents interested in mechanical control (cutting) of aquatic plants, Do I Need a DNR Permit for Mechanical Harvest of Aquatic Plants? (PDF) is a flowchart that can help residents decide if permit is needed.
How long is your shoreline?
- Use the Dakota County online GIS map for property information, plat documents, measuring tools, and more. The distance tool can help you determine your shoreline length, information which is needed when you apply for aquatic plant permits. For your convenience, here are instructions on how to use this online map for determining shoreline length (PDF).
Businesses that offer Aquatic Plant Management Services
- Multiple companies in the Metro Area offer services such as mechanical harvest, hand-pulling of rooted aquatic plants, herbicide control and more. Make sure that any company you hire is appropriately licensed as needed by the MN DNR for activities such as aquatic pesticide application or mechanical control.
- The DNR Aquatic Plant Management Program website has many resources regarding aquatic plants, including: