U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Upper Mississippi River National
Wildlife & Fish Refuge

couple in canoe on water with wooded bank behind
51 East 4th Street
Winona, MN   55987
E-mail: uppermississippiriver@fws.gov
Phone Number: 507-452-4232
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Exploring the backwaters by canoe is just one way to enjoy "Upper Miss" Refuge.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
With advance notice, educational programs are available to organized groups throughout the year. Lending materials and special events are additional environmental education opportunities offered by the four refuge offices. Educators are encouraged to contact the offices for information about current events available to their students.

Fishing is allowed in accordance with state regulations. With over 200 developed access points within the refuge, opportunities to launch a boat and fish are abundant. Target species include: walleye, sauger, bass, crappie, and sunfish. Fishing for catfish on the Mississippi River is a popular sport as well. Bank fishing and ice fishing round out the fishing opportunities on the refuge.

The refuge is open to deer and waterfowl hunting, in accordance with state regulations. Deer and waterfowl are very common on the refuge. The refuge lies within the Mississippi Flyway and provides resting and feeding areas during the fall migration.

Interpretive signs along the Great River Road tell the story of the refuge and the region. Observation decks, kiosks, and trails offer visitors opportunities for a more intimate look at the refuge.

Wildlife Observation
Throughout the refuge, there are observation decks. Fall offers a wonderful time to see waterfowl migration. A volunteer organization, Swan Watch, staffs the Rieck's Lake observation deck in Alma, Wisconsin, to help visitors appreciate the migrating tundra swans. Another fantastic opportunity to view thousands of swans is situated on Highway 26 below Brownsville, Minnesota. Winter is an opportune time to view bald eagles. Throughout the refuge, communities offer Eagle Watches. Spring offers a glimpse of colorful images as the neotropical migrants move to their nesting areas. Visitors to one of the bluff-top state parks can look down onto the refuge and see the flocks of migrants flitting below.

Refuge headquarters and offices - Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday. Refuge lands - Open 24 hours/day except where posted. Refuge visitor center (Savanna District) - Open 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday; Saturdays, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, from mid-April to Mid-November.

Entrance Fees
This refuge does not require an entrance fee.

Use Fees
There is a $20 fee for trapping. There is a $10 application fee and $100 permit fee to participate in the Potter's Marsh Waterfowl Management Hunt on the Savanna District.
- Refuge Profile Page -