Pool 12 Overwintering Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

Rock Island District


The Pool 12 Overwintering project area is located along the left descending bank of the Upper Mississippi River approximately 10 miles south of Dubuque, Iowa, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. The project lies generally between the Mississippi River's main channel and the railroad tracks that parallel the river's east bank. The project lands are federally owned by the Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage the project lands as part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Savanna Division. Presently, overwintering habitat for fish and backwater habitat for both waterfowl and fish are very limited in Pool 12. Sedimentation of backwater lakes and sloughs has reduced the value of historic overwintering areas. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has documented that the overwintering habitat in Pool 12 has become a limiting factor for survival of riverine fish.

Quick Facts

  • Congressional District: Illinois - 17, Iowa 1
  • State(s) Covered: Illinois, Iowa
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Management Authority: Refuge

Project Features

  • Excavate channels in backwater areas (approximately 63 acres of deep backwater channels)
  • Construct land and aquatic deflections berms
  • Plant hard mast trees on land berms (approximately 40 acres of land berms)
  • Construct rock closure structures  


  • The Fact Sheet was approved in March 2004.
  • The Definite Project Report was approved in March 2013.
  • The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed in April 2013.