Bertom McCartney Lakes Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Rock Island District

Pool 11, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 599 - 603, Grant County, Wisconsin, Congressional District: Wisconsin - 3


  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Wisconsin Depratment of Natural Resources (WIDNR)


This backwater complex was once a highly productive fishery that also provided valuable waterfowl and wildlife habitat. Sedimentation was rapidly decreasing the extent and diversity of aquatic habitat in this area. Critically low winter dissolved oxygen levels resulted in fish kills. Wind and wave action caused sediment resuspension and turbidity, which in turn reduced light penetration and impacted aquatic vegetation productivity. Fish attracted to stable temperatures associated with anoxic spring-fed flows in the project area were trapped and killed as a combined result of shoaling, ice cover, and lack of inflow, circulation and escape opportunities.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 2,000 
  • State(s) Covered: Wisconsin
  • Land Ownership: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Management Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Management Authority: Refuge



  • Hydraulically dredge a channel 5,070 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 8 feet deep
  • Mechanically dredge a channel 327 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 8 feet deep through Timber Chute 
  • Mechanically dredge a channel 9,400 feet long, 40-50 feet wide, and 3.5 feet deep of which 3,900 feet is located adjacent to the hydraulically dredged channel
  • Create 10 potholes in areas of willow thickets
  • Place barriers to prevent boat access to Little Denny
  • Plant mast trees on the placement sites
  • Construct check dams using dredged material


  • The Definite Project Report was issued in June 1989.
  • Construction was initiated in 1989, and was completed in in 1992.
  • The Operation and Maintenance Manual was completed in 1996.
  • The initial Project Performance Evaluation Report (PER) was completed in October 1995. Supplemental PERs were completed in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2014
  • Inspection of Completed Works was completed in 2016.
  • Performance monitoring continues.