Permits for Controlling Invasive Species
When do I need a state permit to control or manage invasive species?
Mechanical management typically includes the following practices: hand-pulling, mowing, raking cutting, prescribed burning and water level management or flooding.
- Great Lakes bottomlands and St. Clair Flats bottomlands:
- Visit DEQ’s Great Lakes Shoreline Management page or call 517-388-4472.
- Inland lakes, rivers and streams, and wetlands:
- Visit the DEQ’s Inland Lakes and Streams Permits page or call 517-388-4472.
- Visit the DEQ’s Wetlands Permits page or call 517-338-4472.
- Contact your local DEQ office
- Critical dune areas:
- Learn more about critical dune areas, their locations and laws protecting them or call 517-284-5564
- Earth change activities, regardless of size of disturbance, within 500 feet of a lake or stream or earth change activities equal to or greater than 1 acre in earth disturbance typically require soil erosion permits. Get information about how to obtain a soil erosion permit. While these permits do not directly control invasive species, ensuring that earth change activities are conducted for the shortest duration possible and ensuring that the site is permanently stabilized as soon as possible after the earth change is completed, reduces the risk for invasive species introduction in those areas.
- Prescribed burning does not require a permit from the State of Michigan but may require approval from the local unit of government or local fire department. Please contact your local authorities for more information.
- Federal Permits – A permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required for most activities (except mowing) that alter Great Lakes coastal areas. Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District at 1-888-694-8313 or visit the USACE website.
Chemical management is the application of herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals to plants or water bodies.
Before you choose to use chemicals to treat invasive species, be sure you are complying with state regulations. If you decide to apply non-restricted chemicals on your own, be sure to follow all directions as indicated on the product label to protect yourself, others, and the environment.
- Waters of the State: Defined as groundwaters, lakes, rivers, and streams and all other watercourses and waters, including the Great Lakes, within the jurisdiction of this state. Chemical treatment of waters of the state generally requires a permit.
- Visit DEQ’s Aquatic Nuisance Control page or call 517-284-5593 for more information.
- Great Lakes or Lake St. Clair shorelines, a permit is always required for all chemical treatments below the ordinary high-water mark, regardless of whether there is standing water. Visit the DEQ’s Aquatic Nuisance Control page or 517-284-5593 for more information.
- Using chemical treatment without a permit when required, or failure to follow a permit for treatment of aquatic invasive species is illegal. Review Part 33 of the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (451 of 1994).
- For areas that will not impact waters of the state, no permit is required for chemical management using non-restricted chemicals on your own property. You may not utilize any management measures on someone else’s land or public land without written permission from the landowner.
- Restricted use chemicals must only be applied by a certified applicator, regardless of waters of the state.
Other invasive plant management methods include:
- Benthic barriers (mats used to cover weeds), weed rollers or lake drawdown to manage aquatic weeds – a permit is required for these activities. Visit the DEQ’s Inland Lakes and Streams Permits page or call 517-338-4472.
- Biological control - there are currently no state requirements for conducting biological control efforts. However, a federal permit may be required. If you have additional questions please call 517-284-5649.
Local Permits: Please contact your local units of government, including counties and townships, as they may have additional requirements or restrictions covering these activities.
Managing other Invasive Species
Mute Swans: If you have mute swans on your property and wish to remove them or their nests and eggs, you must request a permit from your local DNR office. Find out information about mute swan removal applications and permits.
Feral Swine: Under Michigan law, any hunter with any valid Michigan hunting license can shoot feral swine on sight while hunting. A Michigan concealed pistol license holder may also shoot feral swine. Private property owners may also shoot any feral swine on their property and do not need to be in possession of a hunting license. If a hunter harvests a swine, he or she is encouraged to provide samples for disease testing by contacting USDA-Wildlife Services at 517-336-1928. Learn more about the rules for hunting or shooting feral swine in Michigan.
Do I need a permit for the operation of a mobile boat wash for AIS decontamination? Read the DEQ’s AIS Mobile Boat Wash Wastewater Guidance Document.