Misusing hydraulic jets to uproot aquatic plants or displace sediment is illegal

The Department of Natural Resources reminds lakeshore property owners that it is illegal to use hydraulic jets to move sediment or excavate the bottom of a lake, or to uproot aquatic plants in public waters. 

“Aquatic plants are incredibly important for keeping water clean and fish populations healthy,” said Jon Hansen, aquatic plant management consultant. “We want everyone to enjoy our lakes, and misusing hydraulic jets not only destroys fish habitat but leaves a cloud of sediment and degrades the water for everyone else.”

Hydraulic jets, including products like HydroSweep, Aqua Blaster, Aqua Thruster and Aquasweep, can resemble a fan or trolling motor contained in a short tube and create strong currents of moving water. These products are often advertised to control or remove “muck” and “weeds” from a lake bottom; however, using hydraulic jets in this manner is not allowed in Minnesota.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed high enough off the lake bed so that it doesn’t move sediment or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It must be directed upward toward the water’s surface, which can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts. Any displacement of sediment or removal of aquatic plants as a result of operating a hydraulic jet would be deemed a violation and may result in a fine.

Aquatic plant regulations and a guide to aquatic plants can be found at mndnr.gov/shorelandplants. For information on DNR water permits, visit mndnr.gov/permits.