Trapping Permits

By: News Release
Sep 3rd, 2020

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

In consideration of the on-going COVID 19 pandemic, in 2020, the Refuge will be issuing Special Use Permits and trap tags remotely only. No Special Use Permits or trap tags will be issued in person at Refuge offices. All permits will be issued through the mail. Special Use Permit applications and Special Use Permit are available on-line at

If you are interested in trapping on the Refuge in 2020/2021 please:
1) Complete all the highlighted sections of the Special Use Permit application and sign the application on line 31.

2) Sign line 12 of the Special Use Permit.

3) Prepare a check or money order made out to "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" in the amount of $30 if you are an adult or $5 if you are under the age of 18. DO NOT send cash, only a personal check or money order will be accepted.

4) Place items 1 through 3 in a stamped and addressed envelope and mail to the appropriate district office:

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

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

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

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

Upon receipt of your application package, we will review your application for completeness. If determined to be complete and you are in "good standing" (i.e. no recent violations of fish and game laws, compliance with submission of last year's fur catch report) we will sign the special use permit and return the permit with 40 trap tags to you.

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 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.