Aquatic Zone

Within a lake or pond, aquatic plants grow in an area known as the aquatic, or littoral zone, which is the shallow transition zone between dry land and the open water area of the lake. In Minnesota waters, the littoral zone extends from the shore to a depth of about 15 feet, depending on water clarity. The shallow water, abundant light, and nutrient-rich sediment in the aquatic zone provide ideal conditions for plant growth. Aquatic plants, in turn, provide food and habitat for many animals such as fish, frogs, birds, muskrats, turtles, insects, and snails.

Protecting the littoral zone is important for the health of a lake's fish and other wildlife populations, and for maintaining the value of your property.

Learn how to determine if your aquatic zone is healthy.

What is the Aquatic Zone and why is it important for maintaining lake and shore quality?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/wheregrow.html

Can a homeowner remove plantings from the water in front of their land?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/permits.html
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/regulations.html

What are the rules and laws for private shoreland management?

http://www.shorelandmanagement.org/quick/faqpdf/spfaq.pdf
http://www.shorelandmanagement.org/quick/faqpdf/esfaq.pdf

Is the aquatic zone important for fish health?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/value.html

Can I knock down an ice ridge and put it back into the water?

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/shoreline_alterations_ice_ridges.pdf

Are there recommended plants a homeowner can put into the water in front of their home?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/index.html

Do Docks and Hoists affect the plants and fish in the aquatic zone?

http://www.ctic.org/media/users/ttaylor/OWOW/Potential%20Impacts%20of%20Docks%20on%20Littoral%20Habitats%20in%20Minnesota.pdf

Are there regulations regarding docks, hoists or a boat ramp?

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/shoreline_alterations_water_access.pdf

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/shoreland_owners.html

http://www3.extension.umn.edu/county/itasca/county-natural-resource-educator/article/information-moving-docks-lifts-and-equipment-itasca-county

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/shoreline_alterations_boat_ramps.pdf

Here are two general sources for shoreland issues

http://www.shorelandmanagement.org/
http://www.shorelandmanagement.org/depth/limnology.pdf

AND DON'T FORGET OUR NEW SHORELAND GUIDE, WHICH CONTAINS MUCH INFORMATION AND MANY RESOURCES!

Itasca County Shoreland Guide To Lake Stewardship - (pdf 2.9MB)

Itasca Water - Aquatic Zone

Photos by Mary Shideler www.marythekayaklady.com