Shoreline Repair, Lakeshore Rip-Rap, Shoreline Installation, Serving the Brainerd Lakes area, Crosslake MN, Outing, Crosby MN, Mulching Service, Tree & Shrub Planting, Landscape Consultation, Perennial Gardens

Shoreline Restoration

Protect and beautify your lakeshore.
Shoreline Restoration Project on Big Thunder Lake in Cass County using rip-rap native trees, shrubs, and grasses

Check with local government to see if a permit is needed.

  1. The riprap shall consist of natural rock only, measuring 12" diameter or larger.
  2. The riprap shall conform to the natural alignment of the shore or streambank.
  3. The minimum finished slope shall be no steeper than 3 feet horizontal to 1 foot vertical (3:1).
  4. No materials shall be placed more than 5 feet waterward of the OHW, nor obstruct the flow of water.
  5. The site is not along Lake Superior, on a designated trout stream, or a posted fish spawning area.

Riprap is defined as coarse stones, boulders, or rock, loosely laid against an existing bank or shore for the purpose of preventing or controlling erosion. Only 12" diameter or larger natural rock riprap protection may be installed without a permit. The size of natural rock will reduce movement by natural forces. Riprap is generally placed to prevent erosion by wave action and currents; it is also useful in preventing burrowing animals (muskrat, beaver, etc.). Riprap does not prevent ice heaves.


The placement of riprap should be limited to the area subjected to erosion. This information sheet outlines guidelines for the placement of natural rock riprap without a permit. The installation of other types of riprap will require a permit. Riprap shall be attempted only where site soils are capable of supporting riprap. Such soils may include various combinations of sand, silt and clay. Soils such as peat and muck are not capable of supporting riprap.


Dumped stone is the most flexible and will adjust itself to uneven bank settlement. In most cases, dumped stone is also the least costly. Hand-placed riprap should be roughly square or rectangular to facilitate placement by hand or derrick. Hand-placed riprap is easily disrupted by minor settling.


Riprap shall be installed with a minimum finished slope of 3:1. No riprap or filter materials shall be placed more than 5 feet waterward of the 0HW. A severely eroding bank may require filling in with a greater depth of natural rock before a stable slope may be achieved. Gently sloping banks are more stable for riprap and result in fewer failures. The extent of riprap into the water should be minimized since flow and wave action can cause stability problems.

A transitional layer of gravel, small stone, or fabric shall be placed between the fine material of an embankment and the riprap materials, The purposes of the filter are to:

  1. prevent fine embankment material from being pulled through the riprap materials
  2. distribute the weight of the overlying riprap to prevent settlement, and
  3. to provide relief to hydrostatic pressures inside the embankment.

All riprap requires maintenance. Proper filter blanket thickness, rock size, placement, and slope will prevent frequent maintenance. All riprap, however, will experience some displacement. The desired slope, thickness and rock surface should be restored when needed. All maintenance should be done in conformance with the above mentioned criteria.

Protect your shoreline using natural materials such as boulders and plantings. We service lakeshores throughout the Brainerd Lakes and Crow Wing County areas.

Sand Beaches

Adding a sand beach to your property adds hours of enjoyment for adults and children!

Adds great value to your home, and stops run-off from above.
Most beach installations require a permit, and maximum size for a residential beach is 15� deep 30� wide 15 ft. landward from the OHW (ordinary high water mark)

Up to 200� of rip rap can be installed without a permit if guide lines are met. It�s best to check with local government to make sure. Ice heaves may be fixed without a permit if its repaired with in the year it occurred. Our shorelines are custom built one rock at time at a 3� to 1� slope relaxed with the first row 12� below the lake bed. 3� to 5� filter rock is placed underneath the rip rap (not landscape fabric). Rip rap size is 15� to 35� boulders. Following these guidelines results in less failures during the spring thaw. Property owners are encouraged to plant above the shoreline with native plantings that promote healthy root growth that helps stabilize your shoreline. A historical ice heave can not be removed although some counties will allow a repair enough to get a dock in and access to the water. A historical ice heave is an ice heave that�s been there over years time with vegetation growing on it.

For any questions regarding your lakeshore in Crow Wing County call: Land services @ 218-824-1133
Southern Cass County: Environmental @ 218-547-7365
Aitkin County Environmental services @ 218-927-7342

We install custom shorelines and beaches through out the Brainerd Lakes Area and surrounding areas.
Please call for a site evaluation today! References available upon request.

John Laughlin,
Laughlin Grounds Landscape, LLC