McGregor Lake Habitat Rehab Project moves ahead

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge has just announced that island restoration continues on the McGregor Lake Habitat Rehab Project in Pool 10 between Marquette and Prairie du Chien.

In a release, the agency said that mechanical dredging in the East Channel, and hydraulic dredging operations at the entrance to McGregor Lake, is ongoing.

“Boaters are urged to use caution and enter McGregor Lake at the designated crossing to pass over the hydraulic dredge pipe. The pipe is marked with buoys. Boaters are urged to stay away from construction equipment and activities on the island, as well as dredging operations and the hydraulic dredge pipe which crosses the entrance into McGregor Lake,” the statement reads.

Construction equipment is also placing sand along the western bank of McGregor Lake.

About the project

McGregor Lake is a 200-acre backwater lake in Pool 10 of the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

It is bordered on the west by islands separating it from the main channel and on the east by a peninsula separating it from the east channel.

The lake lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. It is relatively shallow, with an average depth of 2½ feet.

In 1989, about 75 percent of the lake had aquatic vegetation. Since then, aquatic vegetation and depth have decreased because of increased sedimentation and turbidity resulting from erosion of the barrier islands.

The project includes various features, such as dredging the lake, restoring or strengthening the barrier islands and constructing small islands within the lake to reduce wave action.

The project will provide productive habitat for fish and protect the lake from main channel flows during the winter.

Photo: USACE