Upper Mississippi River Refuge lists areas closed to hunting

THOMSON — Pools 12, 13 and 14 of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge contain areas that are closed to access or listed as no hunting zones for waterfowl, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a release Thursday.

Areas within the Sauk Valley region that are affected include:

Lost Mound Unit (formerly Savanna Army Depot) near Savanna. The main channel of Crooked Slough is closed to all hunting. All land and water east of Crooked Slough is closed to all public access.

Lost Mound Unit – Upland. Areas around office and along west side of River Road Wildlife Drive up to the Observation Deck is closed to all hunting and trapping.

Spring Lake Sanctuary near Savanna. Closed to all migratory bird hunting year round and closed to all public access from October 1 to the end of the Illinois duck hunting season on Dec. 21. The public is allowed to walk or bicycle to the observation deck during this time. In addition, the Refuge would like to emphasize that no migratory bird hunting is allowed in the Spring Lake Sanctuary at any time of the year. The Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center area lies within the Spring Lake Sanctuary and is closed to all hunting and trapping year round.

Frog Pond Recreation Area near Savanna. Closed to all hunting year round.

Potters Marsh Waterfowl Hunt Area near Thomson. During the regular waterfowl hunting season, migratory bird hunting is only allowed at 49 designated hunt sites. These sites have special permits but if no one is present one half-hour before shooting time, the site is open for hunting.

Potters Marsh Buffer Zone near Thomson. Extends 400 yards to the west and north of the Potters Marsh Blind Management Zone at river miles 522.5 - 525.0 and is closed to all waterfowl hunting during the regular waterfowl hunting season.

Great River Bike Trail near Thomson. A 50-yard no hunting zone is established along the bike trail to provide a safe passage for walkers and cyclists.

Great River Bike Trail near Mesquaki Lake at Savanna. No hunting zone extends 150 yards paralleling the bike trail from the Plum River south to Seven Eagles Resort.

Mesquaki Lake south of Plum River. Closed to hunting March 16 – September 30.

For information and maps, call the refuge office at 815-273-2732. The refuge extends 261 miles along the Upper Mississippi River from Wabasha, Minnesota, to Princeton, Iowa, protecting and preserving habitat for migratory birds, fish and a variety of other wildlife. It was established in 1924.