Lake Phalen is an urban lake located in Saint Paul, Minnesota and in its suburb of Maplewood. It is one of the largest lakes in Saint Paul and is the centerpiece of the Phalen Regional Park System. The lake drains into the Mississippi River after traveling through Phalen Creek. The lake and surrounding 494-acre (2.00 km sq) park receive around 500,000 visitors each year.
Lake Phalen is one of the Twin Cities most popular fishing lakes. The lake is stocked with walleyes every other year and tiger muskies every three years. The lake also has northern pike, largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish that are able to maintain population levels naturally.The lake has a 23-square-mile (60 km sq) watershed.The lake is also home to an unusual fish.
The rainbow darter was first found in 1996 by workers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.The fish normally lives in fast moving streams. The fish is only found in six to eight other streams in Minnesota.Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive species to Minnesota, was first discovered in the lake in 1997 and continues to grow in the lake.
The lake has always had sailing and boating. In the 1890s sailing was very popular. In 1919, 880 canoes were stored onshore. Now the Saint Paul Sailing Club has space to moor 50 boats on the lake.The first competition to be held was in the spring of 2003 after the U of M elevated rowing to a Varsity Sport in 2000.In 2006, the Big Ten Championships were held at Lake Phalen.Currently gas powered motors are not allowed on the lake. Electrical trolling motors however are allowed.
The city of Saint Paul acquired the lake and surrounding area in 1899 for $22,000. The area surrounding the lake has been made into a 494-acre (2.00 km sq) park.The park has the only swimming lake in Saint Paul. An 18 hole golf course is also located in the park.