Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Habitat Work Commencing at Lake Taneycomo

Heads up tailwater fishers!

If your main gripe about fishing the tailwater at Lake Taneycomo is the unpredictability of the power generation (and how running a couple of generators makes it almost impossible to fish), take heart, because hope is on the way!

Powersite dam has requested a draw-down of Taneycomo's lake levels, and the MDC is going to take advantage of the opportunity this affords. The draw-down is already underway, and when the levels drop and the gravel sufficiently dries and hardens, the heavy equipment is coming in. MDC will be installing what the Springfield News Leader is referring to as "boulder clusters" in the upper stretches of the trophy management area, and here's what that will accomplish.

As the water moves past the obstructions, you'll see slower flow immediately upstream of each boulder and faster flow around the edges, creating current seams that the trout will use for feeding on drifting insects, crustaceans and amphipods. As the water upstream of the boulders accelerates toward the new feeding lanes, the gravel in those areas will clean out more efficiently, meaning the average rock size will be larger. That's good for bug populations, which means more food for little fish, which, of course, means more little fish to feed to the great big fish! And the final payoff is that these artificial riffles will terminate into a plunge-style pool while simultaneously providing additional shelter from the massive current changes that the fish have to fight as things are.

The payoff for fishermen will be more consistent fish populations, improved forage for the trout, and improved access to fishing areas even when Table Rock Dam is generating power.

The habitat installations are due to begin the weekend of October 28th, and fishing will still be open for the public. Of course, use your best judgment when fishing in the shadow of a backhoe lifting a boulder. I don't want to hear about your tragically entertaining death on the evening news.

Local Taneycomo fishermen: get your butts down to the lake this weekend and shoot some good photos! Email them to me, and I'll add them to this article. Don't worry -- I'll give you credit. I have to! Can't afford to give you cash. :-)

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