Refuge Status

The lands and waters of the refuge are open for public enjoyment, however offices and visitor centers will remain closed.


The staff of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge are working with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. As an agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following a three-phased approach to re-opening that is modeled on the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

Currently we are in Phase 1 of re-opening with some staff returning to limited field and maintenance work. The lands and waters of the refuge are open for public enjoyment, however offices and visitor centers will remain closed until further notice. We anticipate re-opening the visitor center during Phase 3, on a timeline that will depend on state and local conditions and may move forward or backward in phases to adapt to current conditions.

We are committed to increasing access to refuge facilities as quickly as possible when risks to the health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers can be safely mitigated. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again in-person as soon as it’s safe to do so and wish everyone healthy and enjoyable adventures outdoors!

Many visitors are curious about how to purchase or receive a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands pass during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are unable to issue passes at this time. Please call and check-in with the site where you would plan to use your pass. Some federal sites are not collecting fees currently and a pass is not needed. If a site has resumed collecting fees, you should be able to purchase a pass at their entrance gate or first fee collecting station. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Learn more about purchasing passes from the U.S. Geological Survey online store.