A large wetland at the headwaters of the Phalen Chain of Lakes.
Casey Lake, located in North St. Paul, is the headwaters of Kohlman Creek and therefore the headwaters of the whole Phalen Chain of Lakes system. Although called a lake, Casey Lake is actually a large wetland. Because of its significance in the watershed, we have included it in District studies and management activities.
In 1992, the District replaced a dilapitated and eroded outlet from Casey Lake with a new one that achieved discharge and storage goals established in the 1988 Phalen Management Plan.
In 2007, the City of North St. Paul expanded the shoreline buffer in the park adjacent to Casey Lake and approached us for assistance with ecological restoration. We designed and managed the project with help from 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. Peters schools. Two stone lake access points were also installed with funding assistance from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The now mature shoreland buffer is a beautiful and functional addition to this popular neighborhood park.
In the winter of 2012‑13, a pond draw‑down killed all of the invasive carp in Casey Lake. The University of Minnesota carp research program identified Casey Lake as a major nursery for these invasive fish, which migrate into the Phalen Chain of Lakes. The reduction of carp in this system caused a dramatic improvement in water clarity. In the spring of 2013, the DNR stocked bluegills and bass in Casey Lake to keep carp levels low and improve the fishery. An aeration system has been installed to keep native game fish alive over the winter months when oxygen in the water can reach critically low levels.