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Boasting the best trout fishing in the nation, Lake Taneycomo is an irresistible lure for anglers. Add all the amenities and recreation opportunities of the "Live Entertainment Capital of the World," and it's easy to see why the lake is a vacationer's paradise. The oldest of Branson's Tri-lakes, including Bull Shoals Lake and Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo in Taney county Missouri is an Ozark mountain treat.
Lake Taneycomo was created in 1913 with the construction of the Powersite Dam on the White River. When the Powersite Dam, also known as the Ozark Beach Dam, was built in 1911 by the Ozark Power and Water Company, it was Missouri's first hydroelectric impoundment. The lake was created for flood control, hydroelectric power, and recreation. Today the dam and lake levels are owned and managed by the Empire Electrical Company which also operates Empire Park, a recreation park just above the dam.
In 1958, Table Rock Dam was completed upstream from Lake Taneycomo. Almost overnight the environment of the lake changed, and it became a cold water lake. The lake is filled with the cold water outflow from the bottom of Table Rock Lake. The temperature and condition of the water in Lake Taneycomo depends on the number of generators being used on Table Rock Dam, and the water outflows from Table Rock Dam can change hourly. As a result, Lake Taneycomo has the characteristics of both a lake and a river. Where the lake is deeper the water is warmer. When Table Rock Dam is generating power, however, Lake Taneycomo is essentially a very deep, cold, fast running river.
The unique conditions on the lake make it one of the most diverse fishing lakes in the country, supporting both cold and warm water species of fish. In 1997 the Missouri Department of Conservation designated the upper 3.5 miles of the lake as a trophy area for rainbow trout. Anglers can fish this area of the lake like a river, bank fishing and wading into the lake. Fly fishing is popular here, but conditions can be dangerous. When the horn sounds water is going to be released from Table Rock Dam and anglers must move. It's important to check conditions with the local authorities.
On the deeper sections of the lake anglers can troll from their boat and fish for bass and crappie. Anglers must adjust their fishing techniques to the lake conditions and hiring a guide can be helpful. Guides, full service marinas, and outfitters are as plentiful as the fish on this well developed lake. Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks or fishing boats. Because of the water temperature there isn't much swimming or water skiing, but visitors can hike around the lake and hunt nearby. Overnight accommodations range from resorts to campgrounds and RV parks.
In 1957 the Missouri Department of Conservation constructed the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery, the largest trout production facility in the state. The Shepherd of the Hills encompasses 211 acres, 84 of which are developed, and includes a conservation center. It is a great place for families to visit. Both children and adults will love learning about trout development and hand feeding the fish. Lake Taneycomo is stocked every year with almost three quarter of a million ten to twelve inch trout, most of which come from Shepherd of the Hills.
With all the amenities along its well developed shoreline, world class fishing, and the attractions of nearby Branson, Lake Taneycomo has something to please everyone and is sure to become a fisherman's favorite destination.
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