Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species Permit Information

For more information or assistance with the permit application process, contact the DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist in your area.


Prohibited Invasive Species Permits

State laws and rules prohibit the possession, importation, purchase, sale, propagation, transportation, and introduction of prohibited invasive species without a permit. The laws specify that the DNR Commissioner may issue permits for the following purposes: scientific research, educational uses, control of the invasive species, or disposal of the invasive species.

Several exemptions apply to the requirement for a prohibited invasive species permit. You may carry out the following activities without a permit:

  • transport purple loosestrife, as provided by the state noxious weed law in Minnesota Statutes, sections 18.75 to 18.88;
  • transport the invasive species to the Minnesota DNR, or another destination as the Commissioner may direct, in a sealed container for purposes of identifying the species or reporting the presence of the species;
  • transport prohibited invasive species for disposal as part of a harvest or control activity under a permit issued by the Commissioner according to section 103G.615 or as specified by the Commissioner;
  • transport prohibited invasive species for disposal as specified under a commercial fishing license issued by the Commissioner;
  • possess a prohibited invasive species that has been lawfully acquired dead and, in the case of plant species, all seeds are removed or are otherwise secured in a sealed container;
  • possess prohibited invasive species in the form of herbaria or other preserved specimens; and
  • immediately return prohibited invasive species that are removed from watercraft and equipment, or caught while angling, to the water from which they came.*

*Note: If the prohibited invasive species was not listed previously as occurring in that waterbody, it should be collected and brought to the DNR for identification.

Regulated Invasive Species

It is legal to possess, import, purchase, propagate, transport, own, or sell a regulated invasive species, however a permit is required to introduce them into a free-living state, for example to release or plant them in public waters. The purpose of designating a species as regulated is to prevent the introduction of the species into a free-living state. Therefore, permits for the introduction of regulated invasive species are limited to tightly controlled research projects conducted at the university level.

Unregulated Invasive Species

There are no invasive species permits related to unregulated invasive species. There may be other applicable game and fish requirements for species such as brown trout and ring-necked pheasant.
Unregulated nonnative species list ‒ Minnesota Administrative Rules


Unlisted Nonnative Species

Unlisted nonnative species are those that are not listed as prohibited, regulated, or unregulated. Several steps must occur before an unlisted nonnative species may be legally released into a free-living state: an application and supporting information must be filed with the DNR by the individual proposing to release the species, a thorough evaluation by the DNR, and designation of the species into an appropriate classification.


Authorization Forms to Transport Invasive Animals and Plants

Authorization forms are available for specific activities such as transporting a boat to a cleaning and storage location, and transporting prohibited invasive species to a disposal site. The forms – which specify how boats, equipment, or aquatic plants may be transported in compliance with state laws – are not permits and it is not necessary to apply to the DNR to use them. Simply download, print, and carry them with you during transport.

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