A walking path project paved the way for flowers & clean water at Casey Lake.
Casey Lake (11 acres) is in the headwaters of the Phalen Chain of Lakes with nearly half of its shores within North St. Paul’s Casey Lake Park. In 2007, the City of North St. Paul realigned the walking path to expand the shore buffer, and approached us for assistance with ecological restoration.
We designed and managed the project, and the City of North St. Paul, the Ramsey County Correctional Facility – Greenhouse Operations, Ramsey County Master Gardeners and 350 students from Cowern, Richardson, Farnsworth, and St. Peter schools all had a hand in the restoration. Two stone lake access points and a fishing pier were installed with assistance from the Minnesota DNR. The mature shoreland buffer is now a beautiful and functional addition to this popular neighborhood park.
Over the past several decades, water clarity in Casey Lake has suffered, and it has been subject to frequent blue-green algae blooms. The University of Minnesota carp research program identified Casey as a major nursery for common carp. Fish in Casey have the potential to migrate into the Phalen Chain of lakes. In the winter of 2012-13, a pond drawdown killed all of the invasive carp in Casey Lake. The lack of carp caused a dramatic improvement in water clarity. In the spring of 2013, the Minnesota DNR stocked bluegills and bass to keep carp levels low and improve the fishery. An aeration system has been installed to keep the gamefish alive over the winter months when oxygen in the water can reach critically low levels.