News Release from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY: Four (4) Compatibility Determinations (CDs) which evaluate various economic and/or commercial uses of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are available for public comment from March 9 through April 9, 2018.

 The draft CDs re-evaluate the following uses of the Refuge:

  • Commercial Fishing Floats
  • Commercially Guided Wildlife/Wildlands Observation
  • Guided Sport Fishing
  • Guided Waterfowl Hunting

The draft compatibility determinations are available at Refuge Headquarters, 51 East 4th Street, Winona, MN; on the refuge web page at or can be mailed or emailed by calling 507-452-4232.

In accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, prior to allowing a new or continuing public use or activity on the Refuge, the FWS must determine if the use is compatible with Refuge purposes.

Compatibility Determinations regarding these four uses were originally completed in 2006 as part of the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP).  The original CDs must be re-evaluated every 10 years.  Draft CDs which re-evaluated these commercial uses were originally released for public comment in August 2016.  Based on comments received during the review period in 2016, these four CDs have been revised and are thus being released for an additional 30 day period.  The CCP, as well as the 2006 versions of these CDs are available at: There are no changes being proposed to the CCP.

The public is encouraged to contact Deputy Refuge Manager, Tim Yager, in writing at 51 E. 4th Street, Winona, MN 55987 or via email at [email protected]  by 4:00 p.m., April 9, 2018 to provide comments.

The purposes for establishing, acquiring, and managing the Refuge is “as a refuge and breeding place for migratory birds included in the terms of the convention between the United States and Great Britain for the protection of migratory birds, concluded August 16, 1916, and (b) to such extent as the Secretary of the Interior by regulations, prescribe, as a refuge and breeding place for other wild birds, game animals, fur-bearing animals, and for the conservation of wild flowers and aquatic plants, and (c) to such extent as the Secretary of the Interior may, by regulations, prescribe a refuge and breeding place for fish and other aquatic animal life.”