The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge - Winona District is urging boaters to take precautions in the coming days regarding flooding on the Mississippi River. Boaters should be vigilant, as floodwaters will have significantly changed conditions at traditional access, camping, and day-use sites. Excessive current, turbid water, and submerged and floating hazards should be expected in the river over the coming days.
Boaters should also be prepared to locate alternative boat ramps to access the Mississippi River between Wabasha and Trempealeau as ramps may be closed due to flooding. Landings are closed when water levels submerse the ramp and/or dock, cover any portion that is asphalt, or obscure the concrete curbing from view. Refuge personnel are constantly evaluating river conditions to determine when refuge boat ramps can be opened.
Based on predicted water levels for Memorial Day weekend, the following boat landings are expected to be closed to vehicular access: Indian Slough, Beef Slough, and Pontoon Slough located on Highway 25 between Wabasha and Nelson, Wis.; Peterson Lake and Halfmoon located near Kellogg; Weaver at Weaver, Minn.; Verchota and McNally on the Prairie Island Dike near Minnesota City; and Mertes’ Slough on Highway 54/43 near Winona.
Questions regarding the availability of boat ramps can be addressed by calling the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge at 507-454-7351.