US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website


Polander Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

St. Paul District

Pool 5, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 728 - 731, Winona County, Minnesota, Congressional District: MN - 1




Historically, Polander Lake had an abundance of emergent aquatic plants and provided a good staging area for migrating waterfowl.  The area of emergent vegetation declined over the years and has been replaced by submerged vegetation.  The changes were caused by sedimentation, wave action, and water velocities that increase turbidity, inhibit the growth of rooted aquatic plants, and decrease the lake’s structural diversity.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 790
  • State(s) Covered: MN
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge 


  • Stage 1: Constructing a closure across a side channel carrying Pap Slough flows into the lake, a 1,000-foot rockfill island in the upper portion of the lake to reduce wave action, and bank stabilization on two existing barrier islands
  • Stage 2: 6,000-foot island complex in the lower portion of the lake to improve conditions for aquatic plant growth
  • Dredging to provide deepwater fish habitat


  • The Definite Project Report was completed in March 1992.
  • Stage 1 construction was initiated in August 1994 and completed in November 2000.
  • Stage 2 construction was completed in 2003.
  • The Operation and Maintenance Manual was completed in October 2005.