Pigs Eye Lake is located in Ramsey County, just east of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. Due to the lake’s close proximity to the Mississippi River, water level is controlled by the level of the river. The lake is located in the Mississippi River Bottomlands subwatershed.
The lake is a valuable wildlife habitat resource and is utilized by a variety of birds and mammals. However, due to high turbidity and phosphorus levels the lake is classified as hypereutrophic. Sedimentation, low transparency and nutrient loading have caused the water quality and habitat suitability in the lake to be poor. Additional factors such as wind fetch and high rough fish populations are also impacting the water quality and habitat suitability.
Ramsey County Parks & Recreation requested a federal interest study on October 17, 2012. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a federal interest determination on May 14, 2015. The feasibility study was initiated on June 17, 2015 and completed in August 2018. The design and implementation phase of the project will begin following the execution of a project partnership agreement, estimated to occur early 2019.
The project will utilize dredged material from Pool 2 to improve the ecosystem in Pigs Eye Lake. The proposed alternative includes the construction of seven islands of various sizes within the lake, creating a range of habitat types for fish and wildlife. These islands would also reduce wind and wave action, improving vegetation in the lake, creating thermal shelter for waterfowl and protecting further shoreline erosion.
Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, as amended.
The federal interest determination and feasibility study will be prepared at full federal expense. The design and implementation phase of the project will be cost shared at 65 percent federal and 35 percent non-federal for the costs above the operations and maintenance program, with a total federal maximum contribution not to exceed $10 million.
Federal estimate $8,400,000
Non-federal estimate $4,200,000
Total project cost $12,600,000
Federal funds allocated to date $650,000