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Kimball, Minnesota
April 28, 2011     Tri-County News
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April 28, 2011

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Thursday, April 28, 2011 MN Community Page 11 I I Aquatic plant removal may require permits Lakeshore property owners are reminded that removal of aquatic plants from Minnesota lakes may require a permit from the Min- nesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "The DNR staff members who issue permits for aquatic plant removal can help property own- ers avoid harming the lake or river near their home," said Steve Enger, DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources. "Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes," Enger added. "They prevent shore- line erosion, stabilize bottom sedi- ments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise spur the growth of algae. We encourage shoreline property owners to limit the dis- turbance of near-shore vegetation so that plants can still perform these important functions." Aquatic plant removal Lakeshore property owners can control a modest area of aquatic plants for swimming or boat dock- ing without a permit from the DNR. Cutting, pulling, raking, or harvesting submersed vegetation, like pondweeds, watermilfoil, or coontail, in an area for recreation is allowed under the following conditions: • the cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet • the cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along shore or more than one-half of frontage width, whichever is less • if the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water may be added • the cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from the water. If floating leaf vegetation such as white or yellow water-lil- ies interferes with boat access, a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain (by cut- ting or pulling} a channel extend- ing to open water without a per- mit. However, the channel must be no more than 15 feet wide and comply with the following condi- tions: • the cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year • the vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water. A DNR aquatic plant manage- ment permit (permit fee is $35) is required if plans include the fol- lowing: • using herbicides or algicides • removing emergent vegeta- tion, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice • installing or operating an automated plant control device (such as the Crary WeedRoller, Beachgroomer or Lake Sweeper) • removing floating leaf veg- etation in an area larger than a 15-foot wide channel (see above} • controlling submerged vege- tation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet (see above) • removing or relocating a bog of any size. The DNR aquatic plant man- agement regulations do not allow the following activities: • excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control • use of hydraulic jets • using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants • removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas • removing aquatic plants from undeveloped shoreline. More information For more information on the Aquatic Plant Management Pro- gram, contact the nearest regional fisheries office. Those phone num- bers are available at www.dnr.state. ran. us/shorelandmgrnt/apg/regula- tions.html, or by calling (651) 296- 6157, or toll-free (888) 646-6367. Can dad drive his golf cart around town? By Sgt. Kathy Pederson Minnesota State Patrol Dear Trooper Kathy:. My dad is getting old and does not drive a car because he cannot see very well. His driver's license has been taken away. He likes to go up town in the morn- ing to meet with some of his friends for coffee. He says that he can take his old golf carl He wants to go pretty early and it is still dark and the golf cart doesn't have lights. We are very concerned about this. Can Dad drive the golf cart around town? Trooper Kathy Says: Minne- sota State 169.045 states that a city may by ordinance authorize the operation of motorized golf carts (or four-wheel ATVs on designated roadways within their jurisdiction. There is an 800-cubic centime- ter limit to the engine and a total weight of 600 pounds to the ATV). A permit may be granted to oper- ate the golf cart on the designated roads. The permit may be good for not more than one year and renewed annually thereafter. The permit may be revoked at any time if there is evidence that the person cannot safely operate the vehicle. The ordinance may require a certif- icate signed by a physician stating that the applicant is able to safely operate a golf cart on the road. The vehicle then can only be operated from sunrise to sun- set and not in inclement weather or when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog, or other con- ditions or at any time when there is insufficient light to clearly see per- sons and vehicles on the roadway at a distance of 500 feet. The driver of a golf cart under such a permit does have all the rights and duties of drivers of other vehicles. In other words, traffic laws still apply to him too. The driver under such a per- mit is not required to have a driv- er's license but is required to have insurance, a rear view mirror, and a slow moving vehicle sign. The governing bodyofanycounty, home rule charter or statutory city, or town may by ordinance autho- rize the operation of motorized golf carts, four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, or mini trucks, on designated road- ways or portions thereof under its jurisdiction. Authorization to oper- ate a motorized golf cart, four-wheel all-terrain vehicle, or mini truck is by permit only. For purposes of this sec- tion, a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle is a motorized flotation-tired vehi- cle with four low-pressure fires that is limited in engine displacement of less than 800 cubic centimeters and total dry weight less than 600 pounds, and a mini truck has the meaning given in section Mini truck. If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traf- fic laws, please e-mail her at kathy. Sgt. Ped- erson will not offer advice on spe- cific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement. 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