Some boat ramps along the Mississippi River require a user fee as part of the Corps of Engineers Recreation Day Use Fee Program. Day use fees help recover only a portion of costs associated with operating and maintaining Corps’ recreation facilities. Boat ramp fees are charged annually from May 1st through the 4th Sunday in October.
For daily boat ramp use, there is a $5.00 fee. Boat ramps that charge a use fee on the Mississippi River are: Blanding Landing, Pleasant Creek, Big Slough, Bulger's Hollow, Cattail Slough, Clark’s Ferry and Shady Creek.
Blanding Landing, Pleasant Creek and Big Slough utilize a pay station for self registration. Once you've located the fee machine, follow the prompts on the screen to pay by credit/debit card. Place printed receipt on driver's side of dashboard with date clearly visible.
Bulger's Hollow, Cattail Slough, Clark's Ferry and Shady Creek recreation areas utilize an Activity Scan and Pay QR Code self-registration.
For these ramps, use these simple steps:
- Download the Recreation.gov mobile app and create an account prior to your arrival.
- Locate the bulletin board with the boat ramp's QR Code and follow the instructions to pay for your boat launch fee. All payments will be completed using your smartphone by scanning a QR Code in the Recreation.gov mobile app.
- Finish following the instructions on the bulletin board and place your proof of payment on the dashboard of your vehicle.
If you are a frequent visitor, you may wish to purchase an annual pass for $40.00. The annual pass allows unlimited, nation wide use of all Corps day use fee areas for one year from date of purchase. The pass is in the form of a placard that hangs on your rear-view mirror.
If you have a Golden Age/Access or America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes it can be used in place of a Corps annual day pass. Just place your card on the dash of your vehicle or pick up a placard for no charge at the nearest Corps ranger station.
If you are staying at a Corps of Engineers campground you do not have to pay the daily fee for use of the boat ramp. Just present your current camping receipt on your vehicle dash with the camping dates visible.
Where to Buy Your Annual Pass
Purchase in person at one of the following locations:
- Campground Entrance Stations at Class A Campgrounds (May – October)
- Ranger Stations
- Mississippi River Visitor Center