Shoreline and Lakeshore
Vegetation Removal Laws
May existing vegetation
be removed from the shoreline?
Local planning and zoning ordinances regulate
the amount of vegetation that may be removed from shore and bluff impact
zones and from steep slopes.
Trees, shrubs, and other ground cover that
are dead, diseased, or pose a safety hazard may be removed.
Limited clearing (10 to 20% of existing vegetation),
cutting and trimming are allowed to provide a view of the water from the
principal dwelling and to accommodate stairways and access paths or areas.
The screening of structures and vehicles from
view on the water (assuming summer leafed-out conditions) must not
be substantially reduced.
Intensive vegetation clearing of shore and
bluff impact zones and on steep slopes is not allowed.
May aquatic vegetation
be removed for recreational and aesthetic reasons?
Aquatic vegetation cannot be removed for
aesthetic reasons. However, under certain conditions, some plants
my be removed for recreational purposes.
A permit is needed to:
Destroy any emergent vegetation.
Control vegetation in an area larger than
2500 square feet or winder than 50 feet or 1/2 the total shoreline, whichever
Use herbicides or algaecides to control plants.
Transplant aquatic plaints into a lake.Use
and automated unattended plant control device in the lake.
A permit in not needed when:
Submerged vegetation is cut of pulled by hand.
The cleared area does not extend along more
than 50 feet of the property shoreline, or 1/2 the length of the total
shoreline, which ever is less.
The total clearance area does not exceed 2500
A channel with a maximum width of 15 feet
is maintained to reach open water in a boat.
The cut or pulled vegetation is immediately
and permanently removed from the water and placed where it cannot re-enter
Aquatic vegetation must never
be destroyed or prevented from growing in an area posted for fish spawning
or by placing mats, plastic sheets, or like materials on the bottom of
For information on local ordinances contact
the appropriate Planning and Zoning Office. For help in making decisions
on vegetation removal, contact the DNR Forestry Office at (218) 828-2565.
Shoreland Management Site
Create a Sand Beach