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Published on: Oct. 17, 2011

maintaining their septic systems. The program has gotten great reviews and will continue as long as there are funds, interest and need. For more information visit: http://trlwq.org/index_files/Pumpoutprogram.htm

Evaluating Structures

Another objective of the NFHI project is to monitor and evaluate the structures that are placed in Table Rock Lake. To this end, MDC has designated four evaluation techniques: fish sampling, SCUBA observations, an angler survey and a black bass biotelemetry study. By monitoring fish use of the habitat structures, MDC is learning what techniques and designs work best for placing habitat during the remainder of the NFHI project and in other lakes in Missouri. Information gathered from the evaluation will allow MDC to share ideas and techniques with other states’ agencies that are also working to improve fish habitat in reservoirs.

Watershed Health

MDC is working to improve watershed health by protecting eroding stream banks and enhancing riparian corridor conditions. Improving these areas will reduce sedimentation and excess nutrients and will improve in-stream habitat. Five stream bank stabilization projects have been completed to help reduce sediment being deposited into Table Rock Lake. Three other projects within the watershed are currently underway.

Cost-share funding may be available to landowners within the Table Rock Lake watershed to help stabilize eroding stream banks. For more information, or to see if you live within the Table Rock Lake watershed, contact the MDC at 417-334-4859.

MDC is also working with contractors to build large boulder structures within the upper mile of Lake Taneycomo, which is the tailwater of Table Rock Lake. This part of Lake Taneycomo is primarily gravel bed with limited fish cover. Large boulder clusters will help congregate fish in this area allow more areas for anglers to catch fish.

National Program Development

While the habitat project on Table Rock Lakewill benefit Missouri anglers, it is also a pilot project designed to serve as a basis for habitat restorations in other large reservoirs throughout the country. The results of efforts on Table Rock Lake will be shared nationwide and will give other reservoir biologists ideas and methods to improve habitat within their reservoirs.

So, now that the area has new fish habitat, we can look for results. Is that area going to be loaded with fish? Will an angler always be able to find fish off of those trees? The only way to find out is to get out there and fish those areas again. One way for biologists to know if this project is working is if anglers let them know. Visit mdc.mo.gov/node/10182 to download the GPS points, print off a map and go fish some of the habitat structures that have been placed in Table Rock Lake. After all, they were put there with anglers in mind.

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