Lake Winneshiek Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

St. Paul District

Pool 9, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 657 - 660, Crawford County, Wisconsin, Congressional District: WI - 3


  • IADNR 


Lake Winneshiek is a 6,000 acre backwater lake on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River navigation channel in lower Pool 9 about 4 miles downstream from Lansing, Iowa. The site lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Many of the natural islands in Lake Winneshiek have eroded and disappeared. These islands served to break up wind fetch and wave action, reduce turbidity and provide protection to shallow aquatic areas supporting aquatic plant beds. The increased wave action and associated turbidity have contributed to the observed loss of aquatic plant beds used by migratory waterfowl. About 2,800 acres of backwater area would be directly affected by the project.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 2800
  • State(s) Covered: WI
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge 


  • Create two islands, each about 8,000 feet long, in the center of Lake Winneshiek to reduce wave action in this large, open water area.
  • If suitable construction material can be found in the backwater area, dredging would provide up to 20 acres of additional deepwater habitat. 


  • Planning for this project will resume in the 4th quarter of 2017.