Public Waters Work Permits Program

Water resources

Requirements for Projects Involving Public Waters Work Permits

The DNR Public Waters Work Permit Program applies to those lakes, wetlands, and streams identified on DNR Public Water Inventory maps. Proposed projects affecting the course, current, or cross-section of these water bodies may require a Public Waters Work Permit from the DNR and permits from other agencies.

Types of Public Waters Work Permits

There are two types of Public Waters Work Permits available from the DNR: general, and individual permits. See the Do I Need a Permit? section for frequently asked questions about permit requirements.

Projects Requiring Public Waters Work Permits

Under Minnesota Statute103G.245, Subdivision 1 (except as provided in Subdivisions 2, 11, and 12), the state, a political subdivision of the state, a public or private corporation, or a person, must have a DNR Public Waters Work Permit (application forms) to:

  1. construct, reconstruct, remove, abandon, transfer ownership of, or make any change in a reservoir, dam, or waterway obstruction on public waters; or
  2. change or diminish the course, current, or cross section of public waters, entirely or partially within the state, by any means, including filling, excavating, or placing of materials in or on the beds of public waters.

For additional information about specific projects, see Do I Need a Permit?.

Projects Not Requiring Public Waters Work Permits

The following projects generally will have minor impacts to public waters and do not require permits from DNR Waters, provided all of the listed conditions are met. You should remember that other permits for the work might be required from local government units and other agencies of the state or federal government.

Your local DNR Area Hydrologist should be contacted in all situations to determine whether a permit is needed.