Weaver Bottoms Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

St. Paul District

Pool 5, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 742 - 748, Wabasha County, Minnesota, Congressional District: Minnesota - 2




Historically, Weaver Bottoms was important for migrating waterfowl and wintering fish, largely due to extensive beds of emergent and submergent vegetation and a series of main channel border islands that protected the area from main channel inflows. Since the late 1960’s, Weaver Bottoms has degraded to a large, windswept, shallow lake. A decline in vegetation has reduced its habitat value for fish and wildlife. Island erosion and sedimentation have contributed to this decline. Past channel maintenance efforts to improve habitat had little success in restoring aquatic vegetation in much of the area. Numerous studies have been conducted in Weaver Bottoms to identify causative factors for the loss and continuing lack of vegetation. It is believed that sediment resuspension due to wind-generated wave action and the presence of unconsolidated bottom materials are the primary factors affecting vegetation in the area. Drawdowns in 2005 and 2006 restored some of the aquatic vegetation and consolidated sediments in some areas. However, this temporary response is not sustainable without future drawdowns and/or construction of islands to reduce wind-generated wave action.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 4883
  • State(s) Covered: Minnesota
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge

Project Features

  • Island stabilization & construction
  • Topographic diversity
  • Forest management
  • Plantings


  • The Fact Sheet was approved in May 2010.