Lakes and Ponds Permitting

depiction of where on the lake or shore different permitting requirements are in effect

Aquatic Nuisance Control

A permit is required for activities used to control nuisance aquatic plants, insects, or other aquatic life (including lamprey) in Vermont’s waterbodies.  Examples include use of pesticides, pond dyes, copper-based algaecides, bottom barriers,  powered mechanical devices, and structural and biological controls.  Aquatic Nuisance Control Permits are issued under 10 V.S.A. Chapter 50, Subsection 1455. 

Lake Encroachment

Projects encroaching on public waters  (from mean water level towards the lake) such as docks, walls, boathouses, bridges, water intakes, cables, dredging, or fill requires a permit.  Lake Encroachment Permits are issued under 29 V.S.A. Chapter 11. 


As of July 1, 2014, changes to land use within 250 feet of a lake’s mean water level (also known as the Protected Shoreland Area), such as any new development, redevelopment, or vegetation removal, may require a permit.  Shoreland Permits are issued under 10 V.S.A Chapter 49A, Subsections 1441–1449.

Pesticide General Permit

Discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the state for the following pesticide use patterns require coverage under Vermont's Pesticide General Permit:
(1) mosquito and other flying insect pest control;
(2) weed and algae control;
(3) animal pest control; and
(4) forest canopy pest control.

Additional Permits

Knowing all of the permits required before you begin your project can help prevent delays. You may wish to consult with a regional permit specialist to help determine if your project may require any other permits (e.g. wetlands, wastewater).

Report an Environmental Violation

 If you observe or have knowledge of any activity that may be in violation of Vermont's Shoreland Protection Act, an unauthorized lake encroachment, or other lake-related violation, please report the problem. Reports may be made anonymously.

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