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Island Restoration

Island restoration continues on the McGregor Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project located in Pool 10 between Marquette, Iowa and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Stage two of this project will be completed by Newt Marine Service of Dubuque, Iowa and is approximately a $12.8 million project located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, McGregor District. Construction for this stage is schedule to be completed in 2025. The project is funded through the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program and was planned and designed cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources.

Hydraulic dredging is scheduled to start the week of March 27. Restoration plans for the remainder of the year include the removal of dead trees and placing sand and topsoil on the current island footprints just south of the Highway 82 bridge. One of the islands will be enhanced using a technique known as “thin layer placement”. Using pipelines, hydraulic dredged material is placed around living trees to increase the island elevation without having to cut the trees down.

The islands will be restored using material dredged from the main channel near river mile 642 and from backwaters north of the Highway 82 bridge parking lot. The islands will help protect and enhance existing aquatic vegetation and dredging the backwaters will create deeper holes for fisheries overwintering habitat. Trees will be planted on the higher portions of islands to improve the floodplain forest.

For safety, river users are urged to stay away from construction activities, equipment, and dredging operations. Boaters should be aware of floating pipeline. A section of pipeline will be submerged for a recreational boat crossing. The crossing will be marked with buoys and a sign west of the bridge embankment.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and restore fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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