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Capoli Slough


The Capoli Slough Habitat Rehabilitation Project is located in the 2,000-acre Capoli Slough backwater across from Ferryville, WI, and approximately five miles below Lansing, IA. The site lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Crawford County, Wisconsin.

  • Need

     Since the creation of Lock and Dam No. 9 in 1937, several of the natural islands in this area eroded and disappeared. Island loss allows more wind and wave action in the backwaters, keeping sediment suspended (turbidity). The suspended sediment in turn makes it difficult for sunlight to penetrate the water and reach aquatic plants. This has resulted in the loss of valuable aquatic plant beds that migrating waterfowl and fish use for food and cover.

  • Project Description

     The Capoli Slough Islands project includes constructing eleven islands, a riffle (rock lined) channel, and emergent wetlands. The islands will be built using material dredged from the main channel and from within the Capoli Slough area backwaters. To prevent the new islands from eroding, rock will be placed along sections of shoreline and vegetation will be planted. The islands will help protect and enhance existing islands and aquatic vegetation in the Capoli Slough area, and the backwater dredging will create deeper holes for fisheries overwintering habitat. The riffle channel will create habitat for riverine fish and mussels. When complete, this project will provide homes, food, and resting places for river wildlife such as migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, turtles, frogs, fish, mussels, beaver, mink, and otter.

  • Construction Activity

     • Capoli Slough Islands are being constructed in two stages, and at an approximate cost of $8 million.
    • Newt Marine Service (Dubuque, IA) and Weymiller Marine (Lansing, IA) began constructing Stage 1 in March 2012 and will be complete in 2013. This work includes constructing seven islands, creating an emergent wetland, and backwater dredging.
    • McHugh Excavating & Plumbing (Onalaska, WI) and J.F. Brennan (La Crosse, WI) began Stage 2 construction in April 2013 and will be complete in 2014. This includes constructing four islands, an emergent wetland, the riffle channel, and additional backwater dredging.

  • Points of Contact

    US Army Corps of Engineers
    St. Paul District
    Tom Novak, Project Manager
    180 Fifth St. E Ste 700
    St. Paul, MN 55101-1678
    (651) 290-5524

    US Fish and Wildlife Service
    Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge 
    Rich King, McGregor District Manager
    470 Cliff Haven Road
    Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 53821
    (608) 326-0515 Ext. 112

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Jeff Janvrin
    Mississippi River Habitat Specialist
    3550 Mormon Coulee Road
    La Crosse, WI 54601
    (608) 785-9005

    Iowa Department of Natural Resources
    Mike Griffin
    206 Rose Street
    Bellevue, IA 52031
    (563) 872-5700

  • Map

  • Upper Mississippi River Restoration

Last Updated: Oct 01, 2015
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