A Thank You and Surprise!

Thank you to those who participated in the Swan Watch Bus Tour and a special “Thank You” to retired La Crosse District Manager Jim Nissen for providing interpretation on the bus! It was a snowy but good day to see swans. If you haven’t gotten out to see them yet, check them out on Big Lake (Pool 4 downstream of Nelson, WI), Weaver Bottoms (Pool 5, near Weaver, MN), Shady Maple overlook (Pool 8 near Stoddard, WI) and Brownsville overlook (Pool 8, south of Brownsville, MN). The cold and blustery weather tonight and tomorrow could move them along so get out soon! If you need directions, click here.

An unexpected surprise, the Friends were the recipients of a $1,990.56 donation from the League of the Ridiculous. A big “Thank You” to retired Winona District Deputy Manager Tony Batya for nominating the Friends for this donation. Friends Co-President John Lyons accepted the really big (literally) check (photo right). You can learn more about this organization by visiting facebook.com/leagueoftheridiculous/.


National Park Passes. We just received a supply of the new Military Park Passes for veterans, Gold Star family members, and active duty service members. If you are in need of a park pass we have the following available in our office: Senior Annual ($20) and Lifetime ($80), Regular Annual ($80), Military Lifetime (Free), Military Annual (Free), and Access (Free). Not sure which one is right for you? See the guide below:

Friends October Meeting

The next regular meeting of the Friends of the Refuge Headwaters will be Thursday, October 27 beginning at 4:15 p.m. at the Refuge office (not the park shelter). Reminder, our office is located at 102 Walnut Street, Suite 205. Please bring a mask as it will be required if the Winona County community spread level… Continue Reading

Prairie Island Litter Pick-up

We will be conducting a litter pick-up of the Prairie Island dike on Thursday, October 27 beginning at 10:00 a.m. We will meet at the McNally Boat Landing (next to the Prairie Island Campground in Winona) to hand out equipment (gloves, picker-upper sticks, trash bags) and be done by noon. You will be assigned a… Continue Reading

Refuge Updates

Bike/Hike: Friends President Wendy Schneider and Refuge Biologist Stephen Winter are leading a bicycle ride and hike at the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, October 20 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling Stephen at 507.494.6214 (office), 402.310.5460 (mobile) or stephen_winter@fws.gov (e-mail). Click here for complete details. Swan Watch Bus… Continue Reading

It’s a Bike/Hike!

Thursday, October 20, 2022 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. TREMPEALEAU REFUGE Join Wendy Schneider (retired high school teacher and Minnesota Master Naturalist) and Steve Winter (Wildlife Biologist for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge) for a fun bike ride and hike through the refuge.  We will see beautiful fall colors and identify migrating… Continue Reading

2022 Swan Watch

The Friends of the Refuge Headwaters will offer a bus tour to view the fall migration and changing colors of the Upper Mississippi River from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, 2022. This will be the first offering of the tour since 2019 so reserve your seats early! Participants will have the opportunity to… Continue Reading

Availability of Trapping Permits for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that Refuge special use permits and trap tags for the 2022-2023 furbearer trapping season on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) will be issued beginning October 5, 2022. District offices are currently open to the public at the days and times listed below… Continue Reading

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Recognizes Volunteers

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (Refuge) Winona offices recently recognized Tim Connolly of Pickwick, MN as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year. Tim volunteers his time helping with fishing events, picking up trash, and completing European buckthorn removal around the Refuge boat landings over the winter. While volunteer opportunities were limited… Continue Reading

Questions? Email forhwinona@gmail.com

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