US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

Boat Ramp (Day Use) Fees

Many Corps of Engineers boat launches charge a $3.00 fee to non-registered campers through a self registration vault located at the ramp. 
A $30.00 annual pass good at all Corps ramps nationwide may also be purchased from:
Fee booths
Ranger offices
Visitor center 
Rangers on patrol 

Anyone camping at any Corps park can simply place their campsite receipt on the dash of their towing vehicle for the day and forego paying the launch fee.

Fishing the Upper Mississippi River

When you get a bite on your line in the Mississippi River, it could be anything from a bluegill to a bowfin, a crappie or a carp, or any of the dozens of fish species that call the river their home. Due to the fast currents and muddy appearance of the water, fish here tend to go after their prey more by smell and movement than by actually seeing the prey well.  This explains why many people who are walleye fishing catch many catfish, and anglers using bobbers and worms catch some huge bass and catfish.

All persons fishing from a boat or land must have the proper state licenses in their possession while fishing.  For those fishing from a boat, you may fish from shoreline to shoreline of the river with either state license in Illinois and Iowa and you may fish from railroad track to railroad track with either license in the Iowa and Wisconsin shared waters.  For those fishing off land, you must have the proper license for whichever state claims the land you are standing on.  If you are unsure of the license requirements, talk to a ranger or attendant, or call the Department of Natural Resources in that state.

Remember, fishing is a year-round sport, and many fantastic ice-fishing trips may be found in many areas of the river. Shallow backwaters and deeper dredged backwaters and sloughs make the best ice-fishing location. While fun, ice fishing may also prove dangerous if you venture out on thin ice. Never walk on ice in areas that contain current, springs, or warm water. Several inches of clear, hard ice is needed to support your weight, and more thickness is needed if the ice is cloudy, soft, or thawing at the time.

Hunting the Upper Mississippi River

With over 93,000 acres of land and water in the Rock Island District and much of it open to hunting, the Mississippi River is one of the largest public hunting areas in the Midwest.  This land and water is mainly owned by the Corps of Engineers, but the management for the majority of these areas falls under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge.  This enormous refuge has lands and waters located in the states of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.  The majority of the lands and waters in this refuge are open to public hunting during each particular states seasons.

Many of the lands available to hunt are accessible only by boat, while others are conveniently accessed by foot.  No ATV’s or off-road vehicles may be utilized on any refuge land.  The Fish and Wildlife Service has specific regulations, closed areas, and other restrictions on certain portions of the refuge.  You may even find refuges inside of refuges, such as the Spring Lake Wildlife Refuge near Savanna, IL.  Inside these protected areas, restrictions on access and public use are set to give wildlife, mainly waterfowl, a safe haven during stressful times of the year.   You may also find regulations pertaining to one certain species of animal only on certain stretches of the river.  

US FISH AND WILDLIFE OFFICES

McGregor District (Pools 9, 10, & 11)
PO Box 460
McGregor, IA 52757
(563) 873-3423

Savanna District (Pools 12, 13, & 14)
7071 Riverview Rd.
Thomson, IL 61285
(815) 273-2732