Regulations for Lakes, Ponds & Wetlands

Web Map - Lake and Pond Regulations - Wetlands

Multiple regulations may apply to a single body of water. Before proceeding with any work such as aquatic plant control, altering a shoreline, or installing a dock, you need to determine the regulations that apply to your situation.

To see which regulations apply to a waterbody, visit the Map to Lake and Pond Regulations.  

For information specific to aquatic plant control, visit the Aquatic Plants section.

State Regulations

Within incorporated areas (e. g. towns, cities), any wetland, pond or lake of 2.5 acres or larger in surface area is designated as a "Public Water" by the Minnesota DNR. To find out if you have a Public Water on your property, contact the local DNR hydrologist at (651) 259-5790.

If the waterbody on your property is a Public Water, you will need to apply for a permit for activities such as removing or applying pesticides to plants, installing aeration systems, dredging, etc.

For more info check out the Do I Need a Permit? section of the DNR web page.

To learn more, check out these topics DNR website:

If you have questions about applying for an aquatic plant management permit, call the DNR Aquatic Plant Management Permitting Staff in the DNR Central Region Office at (651) 259-5779 or (651) 259-5816.

City Ordinances

Wetland & Shoreland Protection Ordinances

The City of Burnsville has established ordinances to protect wetlands and environmentally sensitive shoreland areas. These ordinances establish vegetation buffer zones and limit construction and other activities near shorelines.

To see the locations of wetlands and shoreland protection areas and learn details about these ordinances, visit the Map to Lake and Pond Regulations.

The full language of the ordinances on the City Code website:

For questions about Wetland and Shoreland Ordinances, contact the City Natural Resources Manager at (952) 895-4574.

Don't Feed Ducks or Geese

To protect water quality, feeding of ducks and geese is prohibited by City Ordinance 6-2-30. Feeding may seem fun, but it causes all sorts of problems:

  • Their droppings, which contain bacteria, degrade water quality and pose a public health risk.
  • Disease is more easily spread among ducks and geese.
  • Uneaten food will attract unwanted pests such as raccoons, mice and insects.
  • They begin to expect food and may become aggressive with humans.
  • Food such as bread is junk food to ducks and geese. Ducklings and goslings are especially vulnerable to malnutrition if all they eat is junk food.

Fertilize the Lawn, Not the Water

Fertilizer may not be applied within 20 feet of a shoreline of any wetland, pond or lake. In addition, fertilizer may not be applied within any buffer zone of a City-designated wetland.

Read the full language of the ordinance: 7-9-3 Restrictions on Application & Use of Lawn Fertilizer.

Be Aware of Boating Rules

Different ordinances set limits on watercraft use on Crystal Lake, Lac Lavon and Keller Lake. There is also a separate ordinance for other small lakes and ponds (including Sunset Pond). Visit Boating Rules to learn more.