MDC improving fish habitat at Lake Taneycomo

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SPRINGFIELD Mo -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will be placing fish habitat in the upper mile of Lake Taneycomo to increase fishing opportunities below Table Rock Dam. Periods of heavy hydropower generation increase the water flow in this area, leaving trout vulnerable to swift currents and limiting fishing access for wade and bank fishermen. Deeper pools, overhead structure, and feeding niches are limited.

Installation of boulder clusters should provide trout with additional areas for resting and feeding. In addition, these structures will provide anglers with more accessible fishing habitat during all periods of generation. Habitat structures should also create scours directly downstream, increasing habitat and holding areas for trout and, in turn, increasing angler success.

Empire District Electric Company staff located at Powersite Dam will be requesting a drawdown of Lake Taneycomo to improve the operations of Powersite Dam lake level control. MDC plans to utilize this drawdown period to use large equipment near the lake to place the boulder clusters. The lake drawdown began Oct. 22 and the habitat improvement project is scheduled to begin Oct. 28.

During this time, multiple machines will be used to move large boulders into areas designated by fisheries biologists. Anglers should be aware of machinery and work being conducted in the area, but angling will still be available in the areas habitat is being placed and MDC staff will be on site to monitor placement of habitat and answer any questions.

This study is part of the Table Rock Lake National Fish Habitat Initiative, a project designed to maintain and improve fish habitat in Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. This project is a joint effort of MDC, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations and is designed to be a pilot project for a broader national program focused on habitat protection and restoration in reservoirs throughout the country.