Visitor Activities

Young Visitors at Middle Mississippi River Refuge

Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge provides visitors with a chance to discover and learn about the plants, fish, wildlife and habitat of a river-floodplain ecosystem.

  • Hunting

    Hunter at Middle Mississippi River Refuge

    Hunting is generally allowed in accordance with Missouri and Illinois state seasons and regulations. The refuge sponsors public hunting activities during daylight hours only. Hunters must possess and use only non-toxic shot while hunting all game, except deer. Contact the refuge for current public use regulations.

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  • Fishing

    Fishing at Middle Mississippi River Refuge

    The refuge divisions afford fishing enthusiasts a great opportunity to fish for crappie and catfish. The types of habitats available range from scour holes, borrow ditches, sloughs, and the main stem of the Mississippi River. All habitats are naturally stocked by high river stages. Consider launching a canoe or kayak for the land-based scour holes and an appropriate sized river boat for the main stem river. Fishing is allowed during daylight hours only. Become familiar with Missouri and Illinois state seasons and regulations before your voyage. File a float plan with friends and family. Lifejackets save lives! Help us control invasive aquatic species by disposing of live bait and washing your watercraft before visiting another water body.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Visitors Canoeing Middle Mississippi River Refuge

    Located along the “un-pooled” section of the Mississippi, the refuge is a migratory link for songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. In a given year, a visitor could see snowy owls, plovers and pelicans all from the same vista. Our peak is early spring to summer followed by fall and early winter. If a particular species uses the Mississippi Flyway, you have a great opportunity to view them at the refuge. Consider visiting around Easter for songbirds, and Thanksgiving for waterfowl. And don’t forget about our year-round mammal residents; deer, squirrel and raccoons.

  • Interpretation

    Interpretive Program

    Special group trips are encouraged including scout groups. Guided group tours may be arranged in advance by contacting the refuge. The refuge annually participates in Eagle Trek (February), Earth Day, (March/April), Birding the Bottomlands (April) and Day on the River (Summer).

  • Environmental Education

    Blue Goose

    With advance notice, refuge staff can provide programs that align with the Missouri and Illinois curricula covering topics such as: forestry, natural resource conservation, endangered species, fisheries and wildlife management.

  • Photography

    View from Overlook of Mississippi River

    A growing number of visitors seek opportunities to photograph wildlife and plants in their natural environment. The Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge is centrally located along the Mississippi Flyway, a major route for migratory birds, affording visitors an excellent opportunity to see wildlife throughout the year. There are currently no specific facilities on the refuge for photography, so photography enthusiasts are encouraged to call the refuge for local insight to overlooks, vistas, and wildlife viewing hotspots.