Helpful trout fishing articles
Lake Taneycomo Water Generation Schedules
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the dam facility. It throws the switches. The Southwest Power Administration coordinates and brokers the power generated by a grid of dams and coal burning plants in several Midwestern states. These agencies together consider three priorities when managing water:
1. Flood Control
When are “they” going to run water? No one knows for sure, but many times you can give it a good guess. Look at the pattern. Look at the lake levels for Table Rock Lake and Beaver Lake. If the lakes are high (above power pool levels) and we’re in a rainy season with rain in the forecast, you can bet they will run water. If it’s real hot or real cold, there’s a good chance they will run water. Other considerations—how have they been running water? Trends can be relied upon to make that good guess. If they are running a little water in the afternoons from 3-6 pm and there’s no major weather changes, you can bet they will continue this trend until the weekend. There’s less power demand on weekends so chances are trends will change—less water may run Saturdays and Sundays unless it’s extremely hot or cold and they need to continue generation because of power demand. The same is true for high water conditions.
Lake Taneycomo Boating
When operating a boat on this lake when the water is running, you must give the current proper respect. When drifting, be aware of obstacles next to shore such as over-hanging and fallen trees and flooded islands with trees. Do not tie up to anything in fast, moving water or use an anchor in moving water at all! Every year, boats are pulled under while dragging anchors in current to keep their boats straight. An anchor hangs up on the bottom, pulling the boat under the surface of the water at the point where the anchor rope is attached. The boat fills with water so fast that often the operator doesn’t have time to cut the anchor rope. Don’t use anchors in moving water!
Shallow gravel bars can make Lake Taneycomo rough on motor propellers. When the water is off, when no water is passing though the generators, the lake stabilizes at its normal level. If this level seems low, it is. Upstream from Branson there are several bad spots. Gravel bars just below Cooper Creek, at Short Creek and Fall Creek to mention a few. Above Fall Creek, it just gets shallow!! The closer to the dam you travel, the shallower it gets. When boating, you must be aware of these places or you will hit bottom and damage your motor. Stop and get a good lake map at one of the resorts or marinas on the lake. Of course, Lilleys’ Landing has one of the best maps around – and they’re free.
Courtesy and safe boating – The rules of thumb are, be nice, don’t get in a hurry, use common sense. Look behind you and observe the wake you’re throwing. Even if you’re traveling slowly you could be throwing the biggest wake. Wakes can injure people by throwing them into the water or within the boat. Wakes can swamp a small boat, capsizing it and sending people into the icy water. Don’t sit or anchor in narrow channels. If you fish these channels, expect lots of traffic moving up and down the lake.
Missouri Boating License Info
Beginning January 1, 2005, every person born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes shall possess, on the vessel, a boating safety identification card issued by the Missouri State Water Patrol (along with a valid photo ID). If you fall into the required age range and are a resident of Missouri, you will need to obtain a Missouri certification card. If you are a resident of Missouri but do not fall into the age range, you are not required to have the Missouri card. Remember, a vessel is every motorboat and motorized watercraft including a personal watercraft. See www.boat-ed.com/mo for testing information.
Missouri Fishing License Info
All Children 15 and younger:
Annual child trout stamp $3.50
Missouri Residents 16 to 64 years old:
Missouri resident fishing license $12
Annual trout stamp $7
Missouri Residents 65 and older:
Only need an annual trout stamp $7
Non-Residents 16 and older:
Yearly non-resident fishing license $42
Daily non-resident fishing license $7/day
Annual trout stamp $7
*All stamps and yearly licenses expire the end of February.
Lake Taneycomo History
Lake Taneycomo, birthed in 1913 with the construction of Ozark Beach “Powersite” Dam, near Forsyth, diminished the flooding that had plagued the local area from the wild White River Basin. The completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958, 22 miles upstream, created the southern boundary of the lake. Since the water then flowed from the 160-foot depth of Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo converted to a coldwater lake ideal for trout, and the Missouri Department of Conservation took advantage and established the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in the shadow of the dam. It now produces 1.235 million trout each year, weighing a collective 301,000 pounds— and making Taneycomo the state’s largest trout fishery and one of the country’s best fishing destinations.
From 760 feet from Table Rock Dam to the first three miles on downstream, a Trophy Trout Release area was established in 1997, designating a place for rainbows to gain growth near the “freshwater shrimp” ( amphipods’) beds. The successful project has produced more lunker rainbows, as anglers are prohibited from keeping them in the slot limit of 12 to 20 inches and must use artificial lures and flies only. From the mouth of Fall Creek to Powersite Dam and all tributaries there is no size limit on rainbows, but brown trout are required to be 20 inches or longer to be kept anywhere on the lake. Robert Brownfield of St. Louis caught the state record rainbow on throwline on Aug. 24, 1971 — at 15 pounds, six ounces; (the state record on pole and line was caught Aug. 14, 2004, by Jason Harper of Neosho who pulled it in at 18 pounds, one ounce at Roaring River.) The new record brown trout was landed by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO, weighing 28.8 pounds, on November 20, 2009, on Lake Taneycomo.