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Lake Residents

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Info for Lakeshore Residents

This webage serves as a clearinghouse of information and resources for lakeshore residents. Find information on what lake associations are in the area, data about the lake in your backyard, and what programs the District manages to protect lake health. Have a resource to share? Email Liz Forbes.

Lake Resident Frequently Asked Questions

You likely need a permit if you're disturbing land below the Ordinary High Water Line or the 100-year Flood Elevation. Learn more on our Shoreline Permit page.

You'll also need a permit If you're disturbing, adding, or removing 50 cubic yards of earth or altering 5,000 square feet or more of surface area anywhere on your property. Learn more on the Permits page and Permits FAQ.

A permit application and review is needed before riprap is installed on a shoreline. However, you should instead consider restoring your shoreline with native vegetation instead of riprap. Not only can properly installed native vegetation protect a shoreline from erosion, it also enhances shoreline beauty and contributes to better water quality in your lake. Also, you can get grant money from RPBCWD to help pay for a natural shoreline restoration with native vegetation!

Riprap and retaining walls can reduce erosion, but they can also be expensive and contribute nothing to lake health. In fact, they can be detrimental in that they do nothing to prevent rainwater runoff from carrying pollution into the lake. 

Regardless of the method used to stabilize your shoreline, a permit will likely be required from RPBCWD. If you have existing riprap that was placed with an RPBCWD permit or existing riprap that was placed prior to the shoreline stabilization rule going into effect in 2015, you will be able to repair the existing riprap provided it meets the criteria set forth in District Rules (Rule F, Section 3).

For shorelines which do not have existing riprap, you will need to demonstrate that the erosive forces acting upon the shore warrant the need for riprap. This can be done using the RPBCWD erosion intensity worksheet. Learn more about shoreline permits.

No, unless you get a permit from the DNR. Aquatic plants in public waters (this includes most lakes) are property of the state. Because of their value to the lake ecosystem, aquatic plants may not be removed without authorization by the DNR. A permit to physically remove some types of aquatic plants may not be needed in some situations. Learn more about DNR aquatic plant regulations.

No, unless you get a permit from the watershed district. Learn more on our Shoreline Permit page.

RPBCWD offers multiple ways to stay informed.

  • Sign up for our mailing list and/or subscribe to lake notifications at
  • Follow us on social media. Find us as @rpbcwd on Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter), and YouTube.

What some may call "weeds" help keep a lake healthy by removing pollutants from the water, adding oxygen to the water, and providing habitat for many aquatic organisms including fish.

The District's purpose is to protect and restore water resources. Native aquatic plants such as White Water Lily, bulrushes, and pondweeds are important components of a lake ecosystem. The MN DNR restricts the removal of aquatic plants in lakes; learn more about what is/isn't allowed on the DNR Aquatic Plant Management page.

The District does some limited control of invasive aquatic plants such as Eurasian Watermilfoil and Curly-leaf Pondweed. The purpose of this control is to benefit lake health and promote native aquatic plants. Learn more at

Get Involved in Your Lake Association

If you live on a lake, consider joining your lake association to be aware of the latest lake news and how to protect your lake. Lake associations are typically independent, non-profit organizations that bring together lake property owners. The focus for each association varies and may include lake clean-up events, social activities, lake health education, and aquatic plant management. In most cases, an association is in contact with RPBCWD staff and the city water resources department to share information and explore potential partnership opportunities.

Find "Lake Associations in RPBCWD" on this page to see a list of lake associations.

Help Protect Lake Health

Become an Adopt a Dock Volunteer

Adopt a Dock is a citizen science initiative. Lakeshore residents hang passive samplers from their dock to assist in Zebra Mussel monitoring.

Learn more

Natural Shorelines are Best for Lake Health

A lake is a natural ecosystem, not a swimming pool. A natural shoreline of native plants including wildflowers, sedges, grasses, shrubs, and trees provide protection against soil erosion from both wave action and stormwater runoff. Many wildlife species also rely on natural shorelines for habitat, and in-water native plants provide spawning areas for fish and nurseries for young fish to hide from predators.

Healthy lakes are good for everyone! They provide multiple ecosystem services including:

  • Clean water for aquatic recreation such as fishing, kayaking, and swimming
  • Local climate regulation through evaporation and other interactions
  • Hydrologic regulation (flood control, groundwater interaction, etc.)
  • Habitat for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife
  • Food source for humans (fish, mussels, etc.)
  • Sediment and nutrient (pollution) retention and processing

Consider restoring at least a portion of your shoreline to a natural condition. RPBCWD offers a generous grant program for natural shoreline restorations!

Score Your Shore

Score Your Shore Tool

The Minnesota DNR developed the "Score The Shore" method to provide an overall score for a lake's shoreline. A DNR surveyor collects lakeshore data by boat at evenly distributed survey points. At each survey point, the shore is scored for several features including percent of natural vegetation in the upland, shoreline, and aquatic zones. A lake with a more naturally-vegetated shoreland provides more habitat and will score higher than a lake that is highly developed.

The DNR also put put together a simplifed version of their method for lakeshore residents (or lake associations) to use to evaluate individual shorelines. This tool, called Score Your Shore, enables the user to assess the amount of habitat on a shoreline. Materials included in the Score Your Shore tool include a user manual, quick guide, and a training PowerPoint.


RPBCWD Shoreland Scores

RPBCWD staff used a modified version of the DNR "Score The Shore" method to evaluate lakeshores in our district. Our data provides an overall lake score and also provides a score for each individual property.

Learn more on the Shoreland Health page.


In the News

Lake Associations in RPBCWD

Find contact information, newsletters, and more on these lake association webpages and/or social media sites.

Duck Duck Lake Association
Lucy Lake Lucy Homeowners Association (no online site)
Lotus Lotus Lake Conservation Alliance webpage and Facebook page
Mitchell Mitchell Lake Association
Red Rock Friends of Red Rock Lake - Facebook page
Riley Lake Riley Improvement Association
Silver Friends of Silver Lake - Facebook page


Interested in organizing an association for your lake? Check out the Organizing a Lake Association FAQ from the Minnesota Shoreland Management Resource Guide.

RPBCWD links

Other lake-related information

Other local government water resource pages

  • Carver Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) - Homepage


Image of introductory slide to Shallow Lakes Ecology and Management presentation.