Pig’s Eye Lake is a large riverine wetland and a significant regional waterbody. The lake is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) public water with a surface area of 628 acres and a maximum depth of 4 feet. The shallow, unmeandered waterbody is in the floodplain of the Mississippi River and receives discharge from the Battle Creek subwatershed and the Blufflands subwatershed.
The location and industrial land use surrounding Pig’s Eye Lake preclude it from significant recreational use, although the City of St. Paul is studying ways to improve access. Since Pig’s Eye Lake is hydraulically connected to the Mississippi River, the level of the lake is controlled by the stage of the river.
The lake is a valuable wildlife habitat resource and is home to a considerable variety of birds and mammals. The Pig’s Eye Island Heron Rookery Scientific and Natural Area is the only area with this DNR designation within our district. This site is owned by the City of St. Paul and is one of the state’s largest nesting sites for colonial waterbirds such as herons, egrets, gulls and terns.