Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: McGregor Lake, Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin Habitat Restoration

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published April 12, 2017
Updated: April 15, 2024


The project’s purpose is to support diverse and abundant native fish, wildlife and plants while sustaining a high level of environmental health and promoting recreation opportunities.


McGregor Lake is a 200-acre backwater lake in Pool 10 of the Mississippi River. The McGregor Lake project is located on the Wisconsin side of the Upper Mississippi River in the middle of Pool 10, near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. The site lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.


McGregor Lake and the surrounding area have encountered degradation in the recent past. Emergent and submergent vegetation are lacking, and shorelines are eroding, which impacts floodplain forest as well as the federally protected Higgins eye pearly mussel.


To mitigate these impacts, the project aims to: improve lake habitat for backwater fish species, increase emergent vegetation growth, increase submergent vegetation growth, increase age and species diversity of self-sustaining floodplain forest, and protect aquatic and terrestrial habitat by reducing erosion.


The construction contract for Stage I was awarded in September 2020 and was completed in 2023. The contract for Stage II was awarded in September 2022. The project is expected to be complete in 2025.

Project Flyover:


Congress originally authorized the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program in Section 1103 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, Pub L. No. 99-662 (codified as amended at 33 U.S.C. § 652). Section 8345 of WRDA 2022, Pub. L. No. 117-263, increased the authorized program funding to a combined $90 million annually.

The project was planned and designed as part of a cooperative effort of the Corps, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and local interests.


Project design and construction costs will be 100% federal because the project is located on lands managed as a national wildlife refuge. Operation and maintenance costs will be 100% federal, a responsibility of the USFWS.

Federal Funds Allocated to Date                 $23,566,854

Estimated Project Construction Costs         $24,317,000