Brown's Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Rock Island District

Pool 13, Upper Mississippi River Miles 544.0 - 546.0, Jackson County, Iowa, Congressional District: Iowa - 1


  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IADNR)


This valuable backwater area had gone from a lake that was up to 6 feet deep to a 12- to 18-inch deep marsh complex. Continued siltation increased the probability of winter fish kills and negatively impacted what has been an important migratory waterfowl area, fishery, and furbearer area. The ongoing siltation process would have transformed the area into lowland brush habitat, further reducing the available open water and submergent/emergent aquatic vegetation in Pool 13.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 453 (Source DPR)
  • State(s) Covered: Iowa
  • 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


  • Construct a deflection levee to prevent Mississippi River flood flows and associated sedimentation from directly entering the Brown’s Lake complex
  • Operate a water control structure in the deflection levee to allow the flow of oxygenated water during periods of normal flow
  • Improve the inlet channel to restrict/reduce river debris and sediment from reaching Upper Brown’s Lake
  • Place approximately 370,000 cubic yards of hydraulically dredged fine-grained sediments into a terrestrial site to depths of 6 to 8 feet
  • Plant dredged material with mast producing trees


  • The Definite Project Report was completed in 1987.
  • Project construction was initiated in 1988 and completed in 1990.
  • The Operation and Maintenance Manual was completed in 1991.
  • The initial Project Performance Evaluation Report (PER) was completed in 1993. Supplemental PERs were completed in 1996, 1997, 2003 and 2015.
  • Inspection of Completed Works was completed in 2017.
  • Performance monitoring continues.