Location: Mandy Lake Fishing Pier

Managed by: Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Management Address

36289 State Hwy 65
McGregor MN 55760

Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in Aitkin County in east central Minnesota, about five miles south of the community of McGregor. It was established in 1935 to preserve valuable habitat for waterfowl. The most important resource on the refuge is Rice Lake itself, a shallow, 3,600 acre wild rice-producing lake. The refuge has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy due to the importance of the lake and its wild rice as a food source to migrating waterfowl, especially ring-necked ducks. The refuge has also been designated as a State Important Bird Area, as part of the larger McGregor Important Bird Area, by the National Audubon Society. The entrance to the refuge is free and visitors are welcome 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset with an automatic gate that opens and closes on a time clock. Visitors are cationed to be aware of the time so they do not become locked inside the Refuge at dusk. http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Rice_Lake/about.html


Located on Mandy Lake, an 87 acre body of water surrounded by beautiful forests is an aluminum accessible fishing pier that is open to public fishing from dawn to dusk.  The pier jets out over the water and is surrounded by reeds and offers anglers an opportunity to hook northern pike as well as pan fish.  The pier has a smooth transition from the walkway to the transition point on the pier.  The area in which this pier is located is a large and relatively flat, it offers various opportunities to enjoy the outdoors including a picnic table, observation platform with an observation scope, and accessible comfort station.  Users can park in close proximity to any of the elements as long as it is not upon the roadway blocking others ability to travel through and to the area.  

The pier is an older design that has a railing around its entire area.  Anglers using lower wheelchairs may find the railing difficult when casting, netting fish and while holding fixed hook and bobber rigs especially if you become easily fatigued while holding arms at chest height or higher.  The area immediately surrounding the pier has reeds growing so anglers will have to cast past them or use rigs that are weedless.  Part of the pier has a bench users can utilize while fishing. 

The area is primitive in that there are no paths of travel, between the picnic tables, fishing pier, and observation area.  There is also no designated parking area on site enabling users to park in close proximity to any of the elements they want to use.  The roadways and grounds look as though they can handle a great deal of rain and still be usable. 

The gate at the entrance of the Refuge is automated and controlled by time clock which is set to open and close at dawn and dusk.  So visitors need to be aware of the time so they do not get locked in the refuge at night.  While visiting the Mandy Lake we were able to observe nesting trumpeter swans and loons.  



Location Info » For directions, click the marker in the map. »

The Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center is located five miles south of McGregor, Mn on hwy 65. Located on the west side of the road traveling south the complex headquarters building has brochures that explain how to navigate the refuge to access the fishing pier and highlights the refuges other opportunities. After arriving at the Refuge follow the main Refuge roadway through the gate to Mandy Lake approximately 2.5 mile traveling west.


McGregor is the largest community in close proximity to the Refuge and is where travelers can find fishing gear, bait,and stores to fulfill most of your needs.


Lodging listings can be accessed via the McGregor's Chamber of Commerce link http://www.mcgregormn.com/memberLodging.htm.