Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Long Term Resource Monitoring


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Mississippi River Monitoring Field Station - La Crosse

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The Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program’s Long Term Resource Monitoring (UMRR-LTRM) field station in La Crosse, Wisconsin is operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The LTRM team is a part of the Office of Great Waters, which also monitors Lakes Superior and Michigan, and is within the Environmental Management Division of the DNR. LTRM also closely partners with the broader Mississippi River team within the Wisconsin DNR as an integrated unit. The LTRM field team primarily conducts long term monitoring of Pool 8 and nearby tributaries of the Upper Mississippi River, which extends from Lock and Dam 8 near Genoa, Wisconsin upstream approximately 23 miles to Lock and Dam 7 near Dresbach, Minnesota. However, nearby navigational pools are often sampled as a part of other projects.

The main goal of LTRM is to support decision-makers with the information and understanding needed to maintain the Upper Mississippi River as a viable multiple-use large river ecosystem. To this end, the LTRM team works to improve the ability to detect environmental and ecological changes that might signal the necessity for management actions through the collection of high quality, standardized data. Additionally, data collected from LTRM are vitally important for monitoring the success of river restoration projects throughout the UMR. The main elements monitored by the LTRM team include fish, vegetation, water quality, land use and land cover, and macroinvertebrates. We also perform monitoring of local Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects (HREPs) as needed.

The field station has up to five full time and four limited term staff that participate in the annual and seasonal monitoring of the different elements. Day-to-day activities are highly varied, but include base monitoring and sampling, writing annual reports and contributing to assessment of long-term trends in river components, maintenance of boats and equipment, and participating in science in support of restoration projects in close collaboration with federal, state, and university partners. These include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the other LTRM field stations in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

The field station is co-located at the USGS - Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. While field station offices and lab are housed in a separate building, DNR scientists are in close collaboration with staff at UMESC to plan, coordinate, and execute one of the most comprehensive large river monitoring networks in the world.


Patrick Kelly
WDNR Mississippi River Monitoring Field Station Team Leader
Telephone: (608) 781-6360
Fax: (608) 783-6066

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
2630 Fanta Reed Road
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54603

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