Trapping Permits

In consideration of the on-going COVID 19 pandemic, in 2021, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) is offering both a remote and in-person opportunity for Refuge trappers to receive the required Special Use Permit (SUP) and trap tags. SUP applications and instructions are available on-line at www.fws.gov/refuge/Upper_Mississippi_River/trapping.html.


Trappers who choose the remote permitting application option should mail their application and pre-signed permit to the appropriate District office listed below:


Pools 4, 5, 5A and 6 - Winona District, 102 Walnut St. - Suite 205, Winona, MN 55987


Pools 7 and 8 - La Crosse District, N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska, WI 54650


Pools 9, 10 and 11 - McGregor District, 470 Cliffhaven Road, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821


Pools 12, 13 and 14 - Savanna District, 7071 Riverview Rd, Thomson, IL 61285


Upon receipt of the application package, Refuge staff will review the application for completeness, determine if the applicant is in “good standing” (no recent violations of fish and game laws and compliance with submission of last year’s fur catch report), and will return the signed permit with 40 trap tags by mail.


Trappers may also complete the application and SUP issuance process in person at District offices beginning October 1, 2021. As in the past, a State trapping license and cash or check for $30 is required to obtain trap tags. Wisconsin residents must provide printed proof of trapping privileges as Refuge employees do not have access the WIDNR electronic system.

District offices are currently open to the public at the days and times listed below, but are subject to change without notice. It is strongly suggested to contact the office you plan to purchase trap tags from in advance to confirm if the office will be open and to schedule an appointment.


Please come prepared to wear a mask when entering any District Office. The Department of the Interior requires all individuals to wear masks indoors in common areas and shared workspaces in all federal buildings and facilities owned or leased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regardless of vaccination status or community transmission levels.



Office/LocationOffice HoursContact Phone #Winona District 102 Walnut Street – Suite 205 Winona, MN 55987Monday & Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or by appointment (507) 454-7351La Crosse District N5727 County Rd Z Onalaska, WI 54650Mon., Wed., Fri. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or by appointment (608) 779-2399McGregor District 470 Cliff Haven Road Prairie du Chien, WI 53821 By appointment only (608) 306-0024Savanna District 7071 Riverview Road Thomson, IL 61285 By appointment only (815) 273-2732


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Deputy Refuge Manager, Tim Yager, at (507) 450-3283.


Additional information can be found in the Refuge’s Furbearer Management Plan available on the web at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river/ or by contacting one of the District offices.




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The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is the most visited refuge in the United States. The refuge extends 261 miles along the Upper Mississippi River from Wabasha, MN to Rock Island, IL, protecting and preserving habitat for migratory birds, fish, and a variety of other wildlife. This 240,000 acre refuge was established in 1924.


In addition to being the most visited refuge in the country, the “Upper Miss” Refuge has the added complexity of a major navigation system, including 11 locks and dams, within its boundary. It is also a world-class fish and wildlife area which harbors 306 species of birds; 119 species of fish; more than 300 active bald eagle nests; thousands of heron and egret nests; spectacular concentrations of canvasback ducks, tundra swans, and white pelicans; and several threatened or endangered species.

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