Lake Taneycomo’s clear cold waters provide some of the finest trout fishing available anywhere in the world. The Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout that ply the waters of Lake Taneycomo provide an exciting, year-round fishing experience. From fly fishing and artificial-only fishing in the Trophy Trout Area near the lake’s headwaters, to bait fishing outside of the Trophy area, Lake Taneycomo makes fishing for coveted Rainbow and Brown Trout a rewarding experience. Numerous state records have been earned in Taneycomo’s waters.
History: Lake Taneycomo (short for Taney County Missouri) was created in 1913 when the White River was captured by the newly constructed “Power Site” Dam, near Forsyth, Missouri. The completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958, 22 miles upstream, created a southern boundary for the Lake which now consists of over 2,080 surface acres. Unlike the Table Rock and Bull Shoals Dams and Lakes, which are owned by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Power Site Dam is privately owned by Empire Electric Company. This company holds a license to continue operating the Dam and its hydroelectric plant until 2022.
From 1913 until 1958 Taneycomo was a “warm water” lake, but when Table Rock Dam started feeding Taneycomo, the water coming through the “power generators” was significantly lower in temperature. Virtually overnight, a “cold water” fishery was created. To take advantage of this change, the Missouri Department of Conservation constructed the “Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery” at the foot of the Dam.
When power is not being generated, Lake Taneycomo exhibits characteristics of both a river and a lake. The shallow, colder water at Lake Taneycomo Mile Marker 22, located adjacent to the Junction of State Highways 165 and 265 near the Table Rock Dam, averages 48 degrees F, resembles a river and permits wading and bank fishing for trout. The average temperature of the water gets warmer as the lake sinks to depths in excess of 50 feet near Lake Taneycomo Mile Marker 1 and the Power Site Dam in Forsyth. When Table Rock Dam is generating power its current is very strong throughout its whole length, its water temperature drops, and for all practical purposes it becomes a very deep, cold, fast running river. Exactly how deep, cold, and fast depends on how many generators are being used to generate electricity at Table Rock Dam.
Warning: When fishing near the Table Rock Dam from the shore or particularly when wading in, pay attention to the horn when it blows. This is a warning indicating that they are going to start generating power. This will cause a sudden increase in the speed of the current and depth of the water. The water can rise feet in a matter of minutes.
Note: The majority of the shore on Lake Taneycomo is private property; shore fishing is limited to the public land in state and municipal parks along the shoreline. Additional shore fishing is available at the many trout docks located along the lake. Call the specific resort or trout dock to check their availability.