Pigs Eye Islands CAP 204 Beneficial Use of Dredge Material, St. Paul, Minnesota

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published April 3, 2024
Updated: April 9, 2024


This project will beneficially utilize dredge material to create islands that will provide a variety of habitat for fish and wildlife.


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 proximity to the Mississippi River, the lake 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 carp populations are also impacting the water quality and habitat suitability.

The project will utilize clean dredged material from Pool 2 to improve the ecosystem in Pigs Eye Lake. The project includes the construction of six islands of various sizes within the lake, creating a range of habitat types for fish and wildlife. These islands will also reduce wind and wave action, improving vegetation in the lake, creating thermal shelter for waterfowl and protecting further shoreline erosion.


Ramsey County Parks and Recreation requested a federal interest study on Oct. 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 was completed in August 2018.

A project partnership agreement was executed on

June 7, 2019. Project plans and specifications were completed, and a construction contract was awarded to LS Marine, Inc. on June 25, 2021, for $14,728,550. The project is currently 80% complete, entering its third year of construction. Estimated project completion date is October 2025.


Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, as amended.


The feasibility study and environmental assessment were prepared at full federal expense. The design and implementation phase of the project is cost shared at 65% federal and 35% non-federal with a total federal maximum contribution not to exceed $10 million.

Federal O&M funding                                 $3,550,000

Federal CAP funding                                   $9,360,000

Non-federal funding                                    $5,040,000

Total Project Cost                                         $17,950,000

Federal Funds Allocated to Date                $12,925,000