Lake aquatic vegetation: DNR says, leave it alone!

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It's tempting to want to get rid of aquatic vegetation, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants Minnesota residents with lakefront property to leave it alone.

The  Pioneer Press reports the DNR is increasing penalties for homeowners who remove plants along the lakeshore. In the past the DNR has warned people against removing aquatic growth, but now the agency will issue $285 tickets.

The plants help stabilize the shoreline and prevents erosion. It also provides habitat for wildlife. Current enforcement is centered on White Bear Lake and the Chisago Lakes area, which have seen significant reduction in lake levels. Plants are cropping up on former beaches. The hope is that some of the plants will remain when lake levels rise again.

Homeowners with lakeshore property can seek an annual permit from the DNR to allow the removal of some vegetation. The $35 permits allows them to clear half their frontage, to a maximum of 100 feet, to maintain a swimming beach.

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