Annual Prospects Report
While Beaver Creek is a little off the beaten path, the creek has long been a floating destination for those looking to enjoy a bit of Ozark tradition. Beginning in Douglas County and flowing southwest through Taney County, Beaver Creek enters Bull Shoals Lake just below Powersite Dam. Most floats begin at Brownbranch and downstream, but wading opportunities also exist upstream. Visitors can pay a small fee to park and launch at Beaver Creek Campground in Brownbranch or launch at the Highway 76 bridge in Bradleyville, among other options. Those interested in floating Beaver Creek and other Ozark streams should pick up a copy of the 2023 edition of A Paddler’s Guide to Missouri to help plan their trip.
Smallmouth bass and goggle-eye fishing should be good in 2024. During the 2023 sample, 60% of the smallmouth sampled at Brownbranch were 11+ inches with nearly 20% of smallmouth 14+ inches. At Bradleyville, 50% of the smallmouth sampled were 11+ inches and roughly 10% were 14+ inches. Artificial baits mimicking crayfish or finesse rigs (e.g., ned rigs) fished around boulders and logs are good options. Live baits (e.g., crayfish & minnows) also work well. Goggle-eye up to 10 inches were observed and should provide ample opportunities for beginning anglers and those looking to take home a stringer of fish. Statewide limits apply on Beaver Creek.
Both spotted/Kentucky bass and largemouth bass are also present in Beaver Creek, typically in deeper pools and slower-moving water near vegetation. More spotted bass were observed below Bradleyville while more largemouth were seen around Brownbranch. Those fishing below Bradleyville can catch walleye, particularly after a creek rise in the spring. For bowfishers & giggers, abundant numbers of large longnose gar and suckers were observed as well.