Pharrs Island Habitat Rehabilitation Project                                                                                                      

St. Louis District

Pool 24, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 275 - 278, Pike County, Missouri, Congressional District: MO - 6


  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Missouri Department of Conservation 


The Pharrs Island Wetland Complex is located in Mississippi River navigation pool 24, about three miles upstream of Lock and Dam 24 between river miles 275.5 and 277.3.  The project area consists of approximately 525 acres of Federal lands and water.  The area is managed for fish and wildlife purposed by the Missouri Department of Conservation under cooperative agreements between the state and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Pharrs Island Wetland Complex illustrates well the ongoing conversion process in Pool 24 from water to land habitat.  As the lower (growing) end of Pharrs Island achieves a more stable configuration, it is anticipated that the island's non-forested wetland habitats will eventually disappear.  During the 15-year period between 1972 and 1987, the conversion of water to land within the complex proceeded at a rate of 3 acres per year. At this rate, all interior non-forested wetland habitats would be expected to disappear from the project area during the next 50 years.

The project eliminated most sediment from entering the island complex during frequent lower elevation flood events.  The sediment reduction has greatly extended the utility of the complex as fish and wildlife habitat.  The deep, sediment-protected, off-channel water area created by the project has provided an important spawning, rearing, and wintering habitat for riverine fish populations.  The project has also provided some ingress and egress of fish to the Pharrs Island interior wetlands during the spawning period.

  Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 525
  • Congressional District: MO - 6
  • State(s) Covered: MO
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge 


  • Bullnose dike to reduce sedimentation and erosion
  • Trail dike to deflect sediment
  • Placement of woody structure in interior backwaters  


  • The Definite Project Report was completed in June 1990.
  • Construction Completed 1992