The refuge is located along the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois and is divided into management districts. The Headquarters is located in Winona, Minnesota. For more information email UpperMississippiRiver@fws.gov
District and Headquarters
51 East 4th Street, Room 203
Winona, MN 55987
507 454 7351
Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
La Crosse District
N5727 County Road Z
Onalaska, WI 54650
608 779 2399
April 1 - November 23Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.All offices and Visitor Centers are closed on Federal Holidays.
470 Cliff Haven RoadPrairie du ChienWisconsin, 53821608-326-05151
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
7071 Riverview Road
Thomson, IL 61285
815 273 2732
Office and Visitor Center Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
All Offices/Visitor Centers are closed on Federal Holidays.
Updated March 31, 2015
The Refuge has 240,000 acres of wetlands, forest and river to explore. In spring, hundreds of bald eagles can be seen during migration. Numbers of warblers and other songbirds peak in mid-May; when more than 150 species can be seen on the refuge. In summer the forested areas provide great places to see great blue heron and great egrets. These birds will be flying to and from one of the 15 rookeries found on the refuge. Canoe trails offer opportunities to see prothonotary warblers nesting in snags over the river. As summer turns to fall the artistry of nature is revealed in the hillsides and as thousands of waterfowl migrate following the river highway. Migrating tundra swans grace the refuge through freeze-up. During the peak fall migration in late October, hundreds of thousands of canvasbacks, common mergansers, goldeneyes, mallards, shovelers, blue-winged teal, and coots gather on the refuge. When the river freezes, pockets of open water below the lock and dams provide bald eagle viewing opportunities.
Areas throughout the refuge are designated as closed or restricted use areas, usually autumn to spring, to protect migrating waterfowl or for public safety. These areas are marked with orange topped "special regulation" signs and list the restrictions and effective dates or seasons. Please read and heed these signs. Maps of these areas are available at refuge offices and under the map section.
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Voluntary Avoidance Areas begin October 15.