• Trapping Permits Available


    Availability of Trapping Permits for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

    Special Use Permit Application 

    Special Use Permit

    In consideration of the on-going COVID 19 pandemic, in 2020, the Refuge will be issuing Special Use Permits and trap tags remotely only. No Special Use Permits or trap tags will be issued in person at Refuge offices. All permits will be issued through the mail. Special Use Permit applications and Special Use Permit are available on-line at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Upper_Mississippi_River/trapping.html.


    If you are interested in trapping on the Refuge in 2020/2021 please:


    1. Complete all the highlighted sections of the Special Use Permit application and sign the application on line 31. 


    2) Fill in your name on line 1 and Sign line 12 of the Special Use Permit.


    3) Prepare a check or money order made out to “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service” in the amount of $30 if you are an adult or $5 if you are under the age of 18. DO NOT send cash, only a personal check or money order will be accepted.


    4) Place items 1 through 3 in a stamped and addressed envelope and mail to the appropriate district office:

    Winona District, 102 Walnut St., Suite 205, Winona, MN 55987

    La Crosse District, N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska, WI 54650


    McGregor District, 470 Cliffhaven Road, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821


    Savanna District, 7071 Riverview Rd, Thomson, IL 61285


    Upon receipt of your application package, we will review your application for completeness. If determined to be complete and you are in “good standing” (i.e. no recent violations of fish and game laws, compliance with submission of last year’s fur catch report) we will sign the special use permit and return the permit with 40 trap tags to you.


    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Deputy Refuge Manager, Tim Yager, at (507) 494-6219.



  • Pool Location Map

  • Fur Catch Report

    In addition to a valid state trapping license you will need a refuge special use permit and trap tags. Fur catch reports are due by April 15 every year. The submission of Fur Catch Reports is mandatory, even if you do not trap on the Refuge. Harvest data from reports is used for management purposes and shared with the respective State agencies. Trappers who fail to meet the April 15 deadline may not be eligible to receive trap tags for the next trapping season. 

  • Youth Trapping Areas

    McGregor District’s Youth Trapping Areas 

    The purposes of these special areas are to provide youth an opportunity to learn and appreciate the art of trapping without direct competition from experienced trappers. 
    Youth Trapping Area regulations apply only to those specially designated areas for the first 14 days of the Refuge muskrat trapping season. After that date these areas are available to all trappers beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the day following the close of the youth season. 

    Additional Youth Trapping Area regulations include: 
    1. Youth trappers must be State licensed and under the age 18 at the time of issuance of Trapping Special Use Permit. 
    2. Youth trappers must obtain a Refuge Trapping Special Use Permit before trapping on the Refuge. 
    3. All applicable State and Federal trapping regulations will apply. 
    4. Youth trappers may be accompanied by an adult (over 18 years of age) but the following restrictions apply. 
    - All traps entering or within the Special Youth Trapping Area will be carried or transported by the youth trapper only. 
    - All animals taken within the Special Youth Trapping Area will be handled and transported by the youth trapper only. 
    - Accompanying adults may assist in the mechanical setting or arming of the trap, but may not place the actual set. 
    - Accompanying adults are not required to obtain a Trapping Special Use Permit.

    McGregor Lake, Pool 10 
    John Deer Marsh, Pool 11
    Bagley Bottoms, Pool 10 


  • Special Trapping Units

  • Special Conditions of Trapping Permit

    • Pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, Part 31, Subpart B, Section 31.16, the following conditions are prescribed by the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the trapping of furbearers on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) situated in the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

      2020-2021 Special Conditions

      Refuge Contact Numbers
      Winona District Office: (507) 454-7351
      La Crosse District Office: (608) 779-2399
      McGregor District Office: (608)326-0515
      Savanna District Office: (815) 273-2732






  • Furbearer Plan

    Furbearer Plan  (8 MG PDF)