Mississippi River Pool No 3

Quick Facts

Mississippi River Pool No 3


(507) 895-6341

Map Directions

Things To Do


Mississippi River Pool No 3 is located within the scenic Upper Mississippi River Valley between Hastings, MN and Red Wing, MN. Project lands are located within the Corps of Engineers Nine Foot Navigation Project. The Main channel provides deep draft boating opportunities while the backwaters provide a wilderness area atmosphere for the smaller shallow draft boats. There is excellent fishing below Lock and Dam 3, which is located on Mississippi River mile 796.9 near Red Wing, MN. There is an observation platform for visitors to watch lock operations and see towboats and barges up close that is open from dawn until dusk each day from April to November. Restrooms are also available.

Authorized in 1930 to provide a 9-foot navigation channel between Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN and St. Louis, MO, the Upper Mississippi River Project offers extensive opportunities for water-based recreation, ranging from backwater hunting and fishing to long-distance cruising in the main channel. In the St. Paul District, the project flows through three National Wildlife Refuges, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, many State and local wildlife and recreation areas. Designated an American Heritage River, it offers visitors many recreational opportunities, including sightseeing along the river, visiting quaint river towns, viewing the wooded bluffs along the river, and watching bald eagles soaring.

The Upper Mississippi River Lock and Dam Project represents one of the largest and most ambitious of such undertakings. With root in the Progressive Era, the project was adopted by New Deal proponents to serve the needs of public employment during the Great Depression. Its successful completion turned the upper reaches of one of the world's largest rivers into an intra-continental canal and settled the question of a fully navigable interior river system through the Midwest. Completion of the system helped allay economic inequities in commercial rail and water freight rates brought about as a result of the opening of the Panama Canal. Although significantly altering the environment of the upper Mississippi, the project also served as an impetus for the upgrading of municipal drinking water and sewage disposal systems, as well as providing new recreational opportunities, thus, in the end, proving generally beneficial to public welfare.

Lock and Dam 3 is currently going through a $70 million renovation project, being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for

Map of Mississippi River Pool No 3

Latitude, Longitude: 44.570415, -92.518616



  • Boating

    The Vermillion meanders through a tangle of forests, wetlands, sloughs, and streams. It enters the Mississippi (795.5 W) below Lock and Dam 3, just upriver from Red Wing, Minn.

    Gores Pool Wildlife Management Area consists of 6,449 acres of floodplain forests and backwater marshes that are popular with birdwatchers and hunters. There are restrictions on the use of personal watercraft (jet skis), airboats and amphibious vehicles inside this wildlife management area.

    The next boat landing on the Mississippi River downriver from Prescott, Wis., (811.2 E) is at Diamond Bluff, Wis., (799.9 E).

  • Camping

    Camping is available for no fee at the Commissory Point Campground.

  • Fishing

    There is excellent fishing below Lock and Dam 3. Floodplain lakes contain trout, panfish, northern pike, and largemouth bass. Rebecca Lake has a variety of fish including northern pike (above average size), largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappies, and stocked channel catfish. Shorefishing is available, but may be limited in some areas due to very shallow water or aquatic vegetation. A fishing pier is available.

  • Hiking

    Lake Rebecca Municipal Park, operated by the City of Hastings, offers 15 miles of trail in addition to a picnic area, swimming beach, and concrete plank ramp for boats to access the lake.

  • Hunting

    Gores Pool Wildlife Management Area consists of 6,449 acres of floodplain forests and backwater marshes that are popular with birdwatchers and hunters.

  • Picnicking

    A picnic area at Commissory Point Campground is accessibly by boat only. Point Douglas on the St. Croix River offers picnicking, restrooms, a fishing pier and a swimming beach. Lake Rebecca Municipal Park offers a picnic area, trail, and portable toilet.

  • RVing

    Lodging and food options exist in the Prescott area. Pump-outs for boats are located at several private marinas along this stretch of the river.

  • Water Sports

    Lake Rebecca Park Reserve offers a swimming beach. The St. Croix River, which converges with the Mississippi around mile 810, sees swimming beaches at Prescott Public Beach and Point Douglas.

  • Winter Sports

    Eagle-watching is a favorite winter-time activity in the area. Eagles concentrate below Mississippi locks and dams in winter where open water provides prey for these fish-eating birds. In the winter Lake Rebecca Park offers 15.6 miles of ungroomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Ice fishing is also possible on the lake.


The Lock and Dam has public observation platform and restrooms that are open from dawn until dusk each day from April through November.



Located on the Minnesota side of the river, Lock & Dam 3 is in a relatively remote area near Red Wing, Minnesota, approximately eight miles off of US Highway 61, part of the Great River Road, on County Highway 19.

Phone Numbers


(507) 895-6341