Does my pond require a permit?

Do I need a permit?

Do I need a permit to control aquatic vegetation on my property with chemical control methods?

Chemical control of nuisance aquatic species is typically a regulated activity and requires a permit from EGLE’s ANC Program, particularly when targeting species in inland lakes, ponds, streams, wetlands, road-side ditches, etc., where water is visibly present in the area of impact at the time of treatment.
No permit is required if your pond fits all requirements below:

  • No outlet (i.e., tributary; overflow pipe, dam with spillway, etc.).
  • No record of state or federal endangered or threatened species, pursuant to Part 365, Endangered Species Protection, of the NREPA.
  • Surface area less than 10 acres.
  • Bottomlands are owned by either one person

Do I need a permit to control aquatic vegetation on my property with Physical or Mechanical control methods?

A permit is generally not required from EGLE to control aquatic submerged vegetation in inland lakes by mechanical harvesting (i.e., cutting plants above the lake bottom with no soil disturbance). Inconsequential or insignificant (“de minimis”) vegetation removal done by hand (e.g., hand pulling, raking a few plants) does not require a permit. Small scale removal of plants that are an aquatic nuisance as defined in Part 33 does not require a permit, if the removal is accomplished by hand-pulling (i.e., without the use of a powered or mechanized tool) and all plant fragments are removed from the water and properly disposed of on land above the ordinary high-water mark. A permit is not required for hand-raking (i.e., without the use of a powered or mechanized tool) of lake bottomlands where vegetation is not present before raking, and where bottom lands are predominantly composed of sand or pebbles.

Larger scale removal of plants requires a Page 5 of 19 permit from EGLE’s Water Resources Division (WRD) if the project can be authorized under Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the NREPA. A use permit or authorization may be necessary from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to use a state operated access site for physical/mechanical control. In addition, cutting vegetation, including mechanical harvesting and mowing, on Great Lakes bottomlands in the St. Clair Flats requires a permit from the WRD. Disposal of harvested material within inland lakes, on Great Lakes bottomlands, or in wetlands is not allowed without prior written approval from the WRD.

Other physical control measures, such as benthic barriers, weed rollers, or lake drawdown, require a permit from the WRD. Contact the Environmental Assistance Center by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 1-800-662-9278 for more information regarding WRD permit requirements.

Do I need a permit to control aquatic vegetation on my property with Bacteria Augmentation methods?

EGLE has regulatory jurisdiction over application of bacterial augmentation products to surface waters of the state. Authorization to use bacterial augmentation products requires review and approval from EGLE’s Water Resources Division, and coverage under Rule 97 of the Water Quality Standards, promulgated under Part 31, Water Resources Protection, of the NREPA prior to usage. The process for obtaining authorization and a list of approved products are available on EGLE’s website at Bacterial Augmentation.

Do I need other permits to control aquatic vegetation on my property in my local area?

Please contact your local units of government, including counties and townships, as they may have additional requirements or restrictions covering these activities. A permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required for most activities that alter Great Lakes coastal areas. Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District at 1-888-694-8313.