Refuge Notes and Reminders

Refuge Friends and Volunteers, there are a few items below that may be of interest and a reminder that the monthly Friends of the Refuge Headwaters meeting is today beginning at 4:15 p.m. at the Hiawatha Valley Marines Shelter off Dacota Street on West Lake Winona. At the May meeting, we discussed a potential phragmites (pronounced fraɡˈmīdēz) control project. The photo below shows Refuge Biologist Jennie Froehly standing in front of the very tall non-native version of the plant.

Halfmoon Landing:The Halfmoon Landing near Kellogg, MN has been closed for several weeks while contractors removed and rebuilt three fishing platforms and repaired rip-rap drainage basins. The construction is complete and the landing is again open! A photo is attached of one of the new structures.

Verchota Canoe Trail: Thanks to volunteers Roger Harms, Jay McLaren (see photo), and retired Refuge Ranger Ed Lagace, the canoe trail from the Verchota Landing on the Prairie Island Dike (Winona, MN) is re-posted! We will update everyone on their progress for the other four trails across the Refuge.

Insect Explorers Program: Come explore insect life on the prairie with a family bug hunt on Saturday, June 25 from 9:30 10:30 a.m. We’ll use bug jars and sweep nets to explore our world and will have simple field guides for families to identify what they find. Children ages 5-12 years old will most enjoy this program, but everyone is welcome! Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration is required and space is limited – please call Ranger Katie at 608-779-2391 to sign up. Where:  Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge La Crosse District Visitor Center, N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska, WI 54560.

Citizen Science: It’s mayfly season! Your mayfly observations are needed for a National Phenology Network project to track mayfly emergence along the Mississippi River. You can find complete information on how to record your sightings by visiting

Pool 6 Dredge Material Management Plan: For those who live along or recreate on Pool 6 (Winona to Trempealeau), please take the time to review and comment on the latest version of the Pool 6 DMMP just released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The plan will guide where sand dredged from the main channel will be placed for the next 20 years. Deadline for comments is July 15, 2022 and the plan can be found at:

Youth Conservation Corps: This week we welcomed three YCC Crew Members to our staff; Cameron from Winona, Kail from Lanesboro, and Abrie from Galesville. The three high schoolers will be spending the next eight weeks working on the Refuge under the watchful eye of Maintenance Worker Bob Costa. See photo of their first project installing a gravel pad by the Aghaming kiosk.

Thank you for everything you do to support the Refuge!

Mary Stefanski

  • Jennie with invasive phragmites

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