DNR Permits for Lily pad and Cattail Removal

At Waterfront Restoration, we know how troublesome cattails and lily pads can be for someone with a lakefront property. Not only do these plants affect the appearance of your lakefront, they can make it harder to swim or navigate a boat through. Even though these plants can cause problems when they really start to grow out of control, they do serve an important purpose for the ecosystem and are closely managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Any aquatic plants growing in public waters are also considered property of the state under Minnesota law (1). This means that you may need a permit depending on the plants you wish to remove.

Cattail Removal

Cattails grow in quiet waters that are less than four feet deep. You can find them in shallow lake water, marshes, ponds, and ditches. Cattails help stabilize the borders of lakes and ponds, prevent shorelines from eroding, and provide cover and nesting places for ducks and other waterfowl (1). They also make a great food source for muskrats and beavers (2). 

Since cattails serve an important purpose, it’s required to obtain a permit before removing them in the state of Minnesota (1). Even then, you may only be allowed to remove enough of the plants to allow boat access to deeper water. Click here to learn how Waterfront Restoration can help remove your cattails!

Lily Pad Removal

Floating-leaf plants like water lilies and cow lilies provide cover for game fish. They can also be a good source of food for waterfowl and muskrats (3). Lily pads are the leaves of these plants. You can remove sections up to 15 feet wide without a permit in the state of Minnesota. Anything more will require a permit from the Minnesota DNR. However, the yellow lotus is a protected species that can never be removed. Yellow lotus plants have grey-green leaves that can grow as large as two feet across. They also have fragrant yellow flowers that are about 10 inches wide when in full bloom (3).

Applying for the Right Permit

Applying for the proper permits for a project can be a hassle, but Waterfront Restoration takes care of that step for you. Simply let us know about your restoration or landscaping project, and we can apply for the proper permits on your behalf. It’s apart of our dedication to providing our clients with a high-quality and convenient service. For more information about our aquatic plant-removal services or to learn more about what DNR permits, contact us today.



(1) https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aquatic_plants/emergent_plants/cattails.html

(2) http://bayville.thinkport.org/printables/cattails.pdf

(3) https://www.leg.state.mn.us/docs/pre2003/other/940504.pdf