THOMSON, Ill. — In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is offering both a remote and in-person opportunity for Refuge trappers to receive the required Special Use Permit and trap tags.

SUP applications and instructions are available online at

Trappers who choose the remote permitting application option should mail their application and pre-signed permit to the Savanna District office at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, 7071 Riverview Road, Thomson, IL 61285.

Upon receipt of the application package, Refuge staff will review the application for completeness and determine if the applicant is in “good standing” (no recent violations of fish and game laws and compliance with submission of last year’s fur catch report), and will return the signed permit with 40 trap tags by mail.

Trappers may also complete the application and SUP issuance process in person at District offices. As in the past, a state trapping license and cash or check for $30 is required to obtain trap tags. Printed proof of trapping privileges must be provided as Refuge employees do not have access to the DNR electronic system.

District offices are currently open to the public, but hours are subject to change without notice. It is strongly suggested to contact the office you plan to purchase trap tags from in advance to confirm if the office will be open and to schedule an appointment.

Please come prepared to wear a mask when entering any District Office. The Department of the Interior requires all individuals to wear masks indoors in common areas and shared workspaces in all federal buildings and facilities owned or leased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regardless of vaccination status or community transmission levels.

Office hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. If you have any questions, call District Manager Ed Britton at (815) 273-2732.

Additional information can be found in the Refuge’s Furbearer Management Plan available on the web at or by contacting one of the District offices.

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