The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is lifting the entry restrictions which were placed on the Mertes Slough heron colony beginning Friday, May 16, 2008. Beginning Monday, June 2 the area around
the colony will be posted as a Voluntary Avoidance Area.
The heron colony is located near the Hwy 43/54 bridge between Winona, MN and Fountain City, WI.
Winona District Manager Mary Stefanski said the entry change is being implemented as normal river levels have returned the colony to its typical island condition. However, boaters are still being asked to avoid entering the colony until after July 8 when most birds should be fledged from the nests.
The colony is a unique biological attribute on the refuge and is home to over 800 great blue heron and great egrets during the nesting season.
Last year, the colony produced an estimated 700 young herons and egrets.
For more information, contact the Winona District Office at