Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

Middle Mississippi River NWR

Park Information

The Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge was established on May 31, 2000 and is part of the Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The complex was established in 1958 for the protection of migratory birds and spans 350 miles along the Mississippi River in the states of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.

The Middle Mississippi River Refuge has three divisions – Meissner Island, near Valmeyer, Illinois; Harlow Island, near Festus, Missouri; and Wilkinson Island, near Gorham, Illinois.

Refuge lands were purchased in response to the great flood of 1993 and are unique in the refuge complex. The refuge tracts lie within the uncontrolled portion of the Middle Mississippi River, below the confluence with the Missouri, where river levels are not regulated by the lock and dam system.

Water levels may fluctuate greatly in this “open river” section of the Mississippi, and frequent flooding occurs on these lands. Many of these areas had previously been cut off from the floodplain by private levees that protected acgricultural lands.

Most of the levees were breached by the 1993 flood and will not be repaired. These lands will provide access to the floodplain for native fish during high water stages and create a corridor of floodplain forest habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife.

Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

The Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes Port Louisa, Two Rivers, Great River, Clarence Cannon, and Middle Mississippi River refuges.

The refuge headquarters for Middle Mississippi Refuge is co-located with Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

Agency Name:

Fish and Wildlife Service


Contact refuge manager at 618/997 3344, x342, for driving directions to each division.

Geographic Location

Contact Info

8588 Route 148

Marion, IL


Additional Info

  • “Home – Middle Mississippi River – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service”. Accessed May 17, 2020. Link.

Near By Parks

  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
  • Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site
  • Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Mingo National Wildlife Refuge
  • Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
  • Carlyle Lake
  • Kentucky Lake
  • Lake Barkley
  • Marion Reservoir
  • Shawnee National Forest
  • Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Near By Campgrounds

  • Benton KOA
  • Boulder Rec. Area (IL)
  • Coles Creek Day Use (IL)
  • Coles Creek Rec Area (IL)
  • Dale Miller Youth (IL)
  • Dam East Rec. Area (DAY USE) (Il)
  • Dam East Spillway (DAY USE) (Il)
  • Dam West Area (DAY USE) (Il)
  • Dam West Day Use (IL)
  • Dam West Rec. Area (CAMP AND DAY) (Il)
  • Dam West Spillway (IL)
  • Dixon Springs State Park
  • Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area
  • Ferne Clyffe State Park
  • Fort Massac State Park
  • Frank Holten State Recreation Area
  • Giant City State Park
  • Gun Creek (IL)
  • Hamilton County State Fish And Wildlife Area
  • Horseshoe Lake Alexander State Fish And Wildlife Area
  • Horseshoe Lake Madison State Park
  • Keyesport Rec. Area (IL)
  • Lake Murphysboro State Park
  • Mcnair Group Area (IL)
  • North Marcum Day Use Area (IL)
  • North Sandusky Campground (IL)
  • North Sandusky Day Use (IL)
  • Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area
  • Randolph County State Recreation Area
  • Red Hills State Park
  • Sam Dale Lake State Fish And Wildlife Area
  • Sam Parr State Fish And Wildlife Area
  • Shagbark Group Area (IL)
  • South Marcum Campround (IL)
  • South Marcum Day Use (IL)
  • South Sandusky Campground (IL)
  • South Sandusky Day Use (IL)
  • Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
  • Trail Of Tears State Forest
  • Washington County State Recreation Area
  • Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area
  • World Shooting Complex
  • Harmonie
  • Cadiz (KY)
  • Canal (KY)
  • Columbus Belmont State Park
  • Eureka (KY)
  • Hurricane Creek (KY)
  • John James Audubon State Park
  • Kenlake State Resort Park
  • Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
  • Kentucky Lake/I 24/Paducah KOA
  • Kentucky Lakes Prizer Point KOA
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park
  • Linton (KY)
  • Old Kuttawa (KY)
  • Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
  • Eagle Point Recreation Area (MO)
  • Greenville Recreation Area (MO)
  • Peoples Creek (MO)
  • Redman Creek Recreation Area (MO)
  • Silver Mines (MO)
  • St. Louis N.E. I 270 Granite City KOA
  • Bumpus Mills (TN)


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