What We Do

The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.

Management and Conservation

Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Management for Great River National Wildlife Refuge varies depending on the division. Reforestation projects at the Fox Island Division restore bottomland forest communities along the Mississippi River. Shoreline protection projects at the Long Island Division protect the islands from erosion while providing habitat for fish and mussels. Timber stand improvement techniques are used at the Long Island Division to enhance the existing mature bottomland forests and with the continuous flow of seep waters into the Delair Division, wetland management is a natural choice. The overall objective for managing these areas is to restore the natural diversity of habitats for the benefit of native and migratory wildlife and fish species.

Law Enforcement

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Officers help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. They work closely with state and local government offices to enforce federal, state and refuge hunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities.

Laws and Regulations

Great River National Wildlife Refuge is open to public use during daylight hours only. Refuge hunting and fishing regulations are in accordance with Missouri and Illinois state seasons and regulations, with a few exceptions specific to the refuge. For more information on limited activities, please check the public use regulations brochure or call the refuge before your visit.