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Monday, January 29 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
SYMPOSIA-05: Nuisance “Weeds” or Critical Fish Habitat: Balancing Trade Offs with Minnesota’s Aquatic Plant Management Program

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AUTHORS. Jon Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. In Minnesota’s lake-rich landscape, fishing is a cultural centerpiece, as is lakeside living. Unfortunately, these two centerpieces are often at odds with each other. As lakeshores are developed and used for various recreational endeavors, the riparian and littoral zones of Minnesota’s lakes change. In the littoral zone aquatic vegetation is often seen as a nuisance to lakeshore property owners, blocking dock access or occupying would be swimming areas. At the same time, aquatic vegetation is arguably the most critical fish habitat component in many glacial lakes. In an effort to balance the desire for lakeshore property owners to destroy aquatic plants with the need to conserve fish habitat, Minnesota administers an aquatic plant management permitting program. The permit program has a long history and permit activity covers the state, usually being the most intense in the highest populated areas. An overview of the program will be presented along with some key spatial and temporal trends which could reflect broad-scale economic and/or environmental drivers. Recommendations to ensure sustainable management of aquatic vegetation will be discussed along with some potential mechanisms to increase protection for fish habitat while still addressing lakeshore property owner needs. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm CST