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“Information and regulations for the lake and its tributaries”
Creel Limits and Length Limits:
Statewide regulations and limits of 4 trout daily and 8 in possession apply, except that only one (1) brown trout may be included in the daily limit and it must be at least 20 inches long. Also , rainbow trout from 12 to 20 inches in length must be released unharmed immediately after being caught in Lake Taneycomo from the closed zone 760 feet below Table Rock Dam to the mouth of Fall Creek. There is no length limit on rainbow trout downstream from the mouth of Fall Creek.Guide Pictures 007
Bait and Lure Restrictions:
Only flies and artificial lures may be used on Lake Taneycomo above the mouth of Fall Creek. Unscented soft plastic bait and natural and scented baits (including natural fish foods, dough bait, putty, or paste type bait and any substance designed to attract fish by taste or smell and any fly, lure or bait containing or used with any substance) are specifically prohibited above the mouth of Fall Creek.
Permits and Miscellaneous:
While on Lake Taneycomo, all trout that you posses must be kept with the head, tail, and skin intact. A trout permit is required to posses trout anywhere on the lake, and is required of all anglers above the Highway 65 bridge.
About Lake Taneycomo’s Trout Fishery:
Historically, Lake Taneycomo had an excellent put – grow – and take rainbow trout fishery. Fish stocked in the lake (10 – 12 inch rainbow and brown trout) grew well, and some survived long enough to grow large enough to grow to trophy size. Anglers had the opportunity to catch both recently stocked trout and larger rainbow and brown trout.
Studies conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation in the mid-1990’s revealed that growth rates of stocked trout remained good, but few rainbow trout survived long enough to grow large. Most rainbow trout were harvested withing 30 days and few exceeded 13 inches long. Fisheries biologists examined many options to improve the trout fishery.
Guide Pictures 012In response, the 12 to 20 inch slot length limit and bait/lure restrictions were implemented on the upper 3 miles of Lake Taneycomo above the mouth of Fall Creek in 1997. The slot length limit protects trout from early harvest and allows them to take advantage of good growth rates. The bait restrictions increase survival rates of trout caught and released. Trout caught on artificial lures are five times more likely to survive when released than those caught on natural bait. Together, the slot length limit and the bait/lure restrictions are resulting in noticeable improvements in Lake Taneycomo’s fishery.
Because of the current regulations:
The typical rainbow trout in the upper part of Lake Taneycomo is caught several times as it grows from 12 – 20 inches. This provides excellent catch and release fishing and has greatly increased the chances of catching quality fish which are 14, 16, 18, and even 20 inches or more in length. Add in the occasional brown trout that can exceed 36 inches long, and the result is more large fish for anglers to catch.
Trout Stocking:Guide Pictures 007
The Department of Conservation stocks both rainbow and brown trout in Lake Taneycomo. Rainbow trout are stocked year round. Brown trout are stocked annually. These stocking efforts provide an excellent put and take rainbow trout fishery in the lower portions of Lake Taneycomo below Fall Creek, support the rainbow trout population above Fall Creek and provide a brown trout fishery with trophy potential throughout the lake.
Future Expectations for Lake Taneycomo:

The future looks good for the trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo. The increased chance of survival with the slot length limit and bait restrictions above Fall Creek has helped released rainbow trout grow to larger sizes, while the newly stocked fish are available to harvest throughout the lake.
Handle With Care:
All trout that do not exceed the legal length limit and those trout you do not intend to eat should be released unharmed immediately. Fish which are quickly released should survive, giving others a chance to catch them again. Following these simple guidelines will enhance the survival of released trout:
· Minimize the time that you play a fish. Select the heaviest tackle appropriate for the prevailing conditions.
· Handle trout and release them as quickly as possible. Holding fish out of the water may reduce their rate of survival. If you must handle the fish, cradle the fish upside down at the waters surface in the palm of your hand while the hook is removed.
· Use needle nose pliers or hemostats to back the kook out of the trout's jaw. Never pull the hook from a deeply hooked fish that you intend to release. Instead, cut the line short and leave the hook in the fish. Barbless hooks or hooks with the barb squeezed flat make releasing fish easier and quicker.
· If the fish appears exhausted, hold it gently in the water facing upstream until it swims from your hand.

Guide Pictures 010
How To Measure A Fish:
It is important to know the proper method of measuring a fish to ensure that the length limit regulations are observed. Follow these important steps:
· Lay the fish flat
· Push or hold the mouth shut
· Press the tail lobes together
· Measure the fish from the tip of the snout to the end of the pressed lobes of the tail.
Public Accesses for Lake Taneycomo
· Shepherd of the hills hatchery located below Table Rock dam off of HWY 165
· Cooper Creek – Located off Fall Creek Road
· Rockaway Beach – Downtown Rockaway Beach along HWY 176, north and east of Branson.
· Empire Park – Located on HWY Y, south of Forsyth off WY 160.
· City Ramp – Located by the Branson Landing next to Scotties Trout Dock.


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