Did An Alligator Once Live in Rochester’s Cascade Lake?
Cascade Lake in Rochester has been in the news recently but do you remember when it made news here in the Med City for having been home to an... alligator?
It was only back on the weekend of June 19th, 2020 when we were all excited about the opening of Cascade Lake Park in northwest Rochester. While the park has been around for a while already (the Cascade Lake Trail runs through it), the Rochester Parks and Rec Department was working hard making improvements to Cascade Lake Park earlier this year. It recently was in the news because of high bacteria levels that caused the Parks and Rec Department to issue a warning about swimming in its waters.
But you have to go back to a little over three years ago, back in the early spring of 2017 when Cascade Lake made news here for being home to an alligator. Seriously. Whether or not there actually WAS (or still is, for that matter) an alligator in Cascade Lake hasn't been definitively answered, though there apparently haven't been any more alligator sightings in the last three years.
The possibility of an alligator in the man-made lake in northwest Rochester was first raised back in April 2017 an area resident, who said both she and her kids spotted a 3 to a 4-foot alligator in the water. Back then, Rochester police searched the area for about 40 minutes but didn't find any evidence of such a critter.
It IS possible there's an alligator in the lake, officials said then. So how would it get into the lovely waters of Cascade Lake? Alligators aren't native to lakes in southeast Minnesota, of course. But there could be one loose in the Med City-- if someone intentionally let set one loose, that is. Perhaps someone got an alligator as a pet and turned it loose in the lake when it started getting bigger. (Which is why you shouldn't get an alligator as a pet-- among many other reasons, of course.)
We were lucky, though, that whether or not he actually lived here, the Cascade Lake Alligator himself once called into the morning show on Quick Country 96.5. Check out the interview below...