‘Blasting’ away aquatic plants may not be legal

(Released June 2, 2014)

Products that create water currents to push away plants and debris from docks and shoreline should not be used to move sediment or excavate the bottom of a lake or river, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Some companies have advertised that their products can ‘blast away’ mucky lake bottom without a permit,” said Steve Enger, DNR aquatic plant management supervisor. “Property owners need to be aware that use of these and similar products could expose them to a citation.”

Products can resemble a fan or trolling motor contained in a short tube, and operate by creating strong currents of moving water. They are not always illegal, but consumers should use caution when considering any kind of aquatic plant removal. If the product is moving sediment, the manner of operation is likely not allowed.

“When directed at a lake bottom these products can uproot aquatic plants and cause plumes or clouds of disturbed sediment to drift down the shoreline, interfering with other people’s enjoyment of the lake and possibly covering spawning areas with a layer of sediment,” said Enger.

Aquatic plants are important to lakes. They help maintain water clarity, prevent erosion, stabilize the bottom sediments and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. While it is possible to legally remove some aquatic plants, oftentimes permits are required. Find permit and other information on the DNR’s aquatic plant management program.

See aquatic plant regulations Web page.