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 use, there is a $5.00 fee that is charged using a self-registration vault. Payment can be made using cash or check made out to FAO, USAED, Rock Island. Simply fill out the envelope, insert your money, tear off the hang-tag portion, seal the envelope and deposit it in the vault. Return to your vehicle and hang the tag on your rear-view mirror. Make sure you write the date on the hang tag, and display it with the date visible from the outside of the 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.
Boat ramps that charge a use fee on the Mississippi River are: Grant River, Blanding Landing*, Pleasant Creek*, Big Slough*, Cattail Slough, Clark’s Ferry and Shady Creek Recreation Area.
*Blanding Landing, Pleasant Creek and Big Slough now features a fee machine near the boat ramp. 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.
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
Order your Annual Pass by phone (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) by calling the Mississippi River Visitor Center at 309-794-5338.