US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

District Projects

UMRR Program - Rice Lake Complex HREP - LaGrange Pool

Published March 11, 2020


LaGrange Pool, Illinois Waterway River Miles 138.0 - 132.0, Fulton County, Illinois.


Rice Lake is a 6,800-acre backwater complex located 24 miles southwest of Peoria, Illinois, in Fulton County on the right descending bank of the Illinois Waterway between river miles 138.0 to 132.0. The project lands are state owned and are managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (ILDNR) as a fish and wildlife area.

The project goals are to enhance and restore wetland and aquatic habitat. The objectives identified to meet these goals are (1) Increase the areal coverage of annual emergent and moist soil vegetation in Big and Goose Lakes during the summer growing season; (2) Decrease summer water levels to below EL 440 in Big Lake, Goose Lake and Rice Lake to promote vegetation growth during the summer growing season; (3) Increase connectivity between Big and Goose Lakes and the Illinois River during summer drawdowns to reduce fish mortality and avian botulism; and (4) Increase areal coverage of floodplain forest and wetland vegetation on Duck Island agricultural fields to provide scarce habitat for wildlife.

Project Features:

• Spillway access road

• Installing a pump station will increase reliability and flexibility of water level management

• A water discharge channel from the pump station

• Water control structures

• Overflow and natural spillway embankment

• A reinforced concrete outlet structure

• Riprap erosion protection

• Mast tree/native grass planting on Duck Island

The project will provide increase water management flexibility and the capability to optimize the quality of quantity of aquatic, wetland and floodplain habitat within the refuge area.


Increased flood and sedimentation levels resulted in degradation of what has historically acted as excellent mid-migration waterfowl and aquatic habitat.  The lack of reliable and flexible water management capability over half of the project area severely limited its effectiveness in providing feeding and resting habitat for the 2.7 million annual waterfowl use days.  Habitat degradation also negatively affected the other migratory and resident species using the facility. 


The construction contract was awarded in September of 2011 and construction began in 2012. Spring flooding in 2013 delayed construction and caused some damages that required contract modifications. The project was near completion when a record flood occurred in summer of 2015, delaying completion of final construction punch list elements. Pump repairs where completed in July 2017.  Pump #2 performed approximately 60 hours that fall, then was rendered inoperable. Since then the pump has been pulled, rebuilt and reinstalled. In October 2018, all three pumps at the pumpstation shut down.  A contract was awarded in April 2019 to repair the three pumps.  However, spring flooding in 2019 has delayed repairs. 

Additional Information

Congressional Interest

Senators: Richard Durbin (IL), Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Representatives: IL-17 (Cheri Bustos), IL-18 (Darin LaHood)


CG - Construction General

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $13,459,763
Estimated Non-Federal Cost $7,280,000
Estimated Total Project Cost   $20,739,763
Allocations Prior to FY 2020 $12,872,800
FY 2020 Allocation $253,000
FY 2020 Total Capability  $253,000


Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2020: Funds are being used to close out the construction contract and finalize the operations and maintenance manual.