Sports and Outdoors

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aquatic plant removal may require permit

Indiana DNR Release:

Before you remove aquatic plants from a public lake, check with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. You may need a permit before proceeding.
State law requires that residents of a public lake who want to chemically control or physically remove aquatic plants along more than 25 feet of their shoreline, a total surface area of more than 625 square feet, or at water depths greater than 6 feet, must first obtain a written permit from the DNR. Residents who treat less than the specified amount do not need a permit.

This allows property owners to control small areas of aquatic plants around piers and swimming areas that may interfere with lake use.

"Aquatic plants play an important role in lake ecology," according to Rod Edgell, DNR assistant fisheries biologist; "however, removing plants is sometimes necessary to allow residents and anglers access to the lake."
When using any pesticide, it's important to follow the product's label directions, and only use herbicides registered for aquatic habitats. Improper use of any aquatic herbicide is not only illegal, but can be hazardous to humans and aquatic life.

In most cases, permits to chemically control aquatic plants are granted only to licensed pesticide applicators who have knowledge and training in the proper use of pesticides.
"We recommend that lake residents combine their resources and hire a licensed applicator for large-scale treatments," Edgell said. "Applicators are trained to properly identify target plants and use the most appropriate herbicide."

In most cases, permits are issued only for control of non-native plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed. Native plants seldom interfere with lake use, and are rarely treated on a large scale.
Permit applications are available at the Northeast Regional Office, 1353 S. Governors Drive, Columbia City, IN 46725, or (260) 244-6805. Application fee is $5. Processing may take up to six weeks, so plan accordingly.
Questions regarding pesticides and their use should be directed to your local Purdue University County Extension Office. The location of your county extension office can be obtained at, or 1-888-398-4636.

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