Aquatic Harvesting

Aquatic Plant Harvesting at Casey Lake

Since 2014, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District(RWMWD) has conducted routine aquatic plant harvesting on Casey Lake. Due to drought conditions this summer, water levels have remained too low to use the harvesting equipment. RWMWD will closely monitor the lake level and conduct harvesting as soon as it is feasible.

What are the benefits of harvesting?

Harvesting is an efficient way to remove filamentous algae and excess aquatic plants and reduce phosphorus. Phosphorus is a common pollutant found in lawn fertilizers and lawn waste like fall leaves and grass clippings. When it enters the lake, it can create conditions ideal for algae and contributes to its spread. Another benefit to harvesting is that removing some aquatic plants lessens the risk of oxygen depletion in the water during the winter, which helps the bluegill and bass thrive.

What work has been done to improve the water quality at Casey Lake?

Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) and the City of North Saint Paul have completed projects within the last 20 years that have resulted in vast improvements to the lake’s water quality, including eliminating the presence of invasive carp. Harvesting has also led to improvements in water clarity and a reduction in phosphorus. More information on projects conducted at Casey Lake can be found on the RWMWD website:

How can I help improve the water quality at Casey Lake?

A significant contributor to pollutants like excess phosphorus is found in stormwater that drains to the lake.  The storm drain on your street carries water directly to nearby lakes and streams, along with any litter, yard chemicals, or other pollutants. Fortunately, residents can reduce these pollutants by adopting a storm drain and moving to water-friendly yard care practices.  The RWMWD Stewardship Grant Program offers up to $15,000 funding for rain gardens, pervious pavement, or other beautiful and water-friendly projects. For example, a 208-acre neighborhood near Casey Lake installed rain gardens in 2014 and 2015 with funding and planning support from RWMWD and volunteer help from Ramsey County Master Gardeners.