Permits for Controlling Invasive Species

When do I need a permit to control or manage invasive species?

Mechanical management

Mechanical management typically includes hand-pulling, mowing, raking cutting, prescribed burning and water level management or flooding.

Chemical management 

Chemical managment 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.

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).

  • Waters of the State: 
    • ‚ÄčDefined 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 EGLE’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 EGLE’s Aquatic Nuisance Control page or call 517-284-5593 for more information.
  • 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:

Other invasive plant management methods

  • Benthic barriers (mats used to cover weeds), weed rollers or lake drawdown to manage aquatic weeds:

  • 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

Additional information