A system of dams were built in the Ozark Mountains starting in the 1930s to curtail devastating flooding, as well as for hydropower generation and recreation. We, here in the Ozarks, enjoy that lake lifestyle provided by those man-made lakes today.
Table Rock Lake, spanning more than 43 to 52 thousand acres (depending on water level) and 800 miles of shoreline, has become a favorite vacation spot for campers, pleasure boaters, fishermen and lovers of water sports of all kinds along the tree-lined shores of it’s crystal clear waters. It was created from 1954 to 1958, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Table Rock Dam across the White River. Beneath the dam, the Missouri Department of Conservation operates a fish hatchery, which is used to stock trout in Lake Taneycomo.
Lake Taneycomo offers clear, cold waters and some of the finest trout fishing available in the world. Known for it’s Rainbow and Brown Trout, the waters of Lake Taneycomo provide a year-round fishing experience. It was created in 1913 when the White River was captured by the “Power Site” Dam, near Forsyth, Missouri. The completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958, created a southern boundary for the lake, which now consists of over 2,080 surface acres. From 1913 until 1958, Taneycomo was a “warm water” lake, but when Table Rock Dam started feeding it, the water coming from Table Rock was considerably lower in temperature.
Beaver Lake, was completed in 1966, high in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The 28,370 acre lake has 487 miles of shoreline highlighted by limestone bluffs. It offers smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing, not to mention plentiful crappie, bream, white bass, striper bass, channel and spoonbill catfish. Boating, skiing, fishing, swimming and relaxing are popular pursuits at Beaver Lake.
Norfork Lake offers 42 miles of crystal blue freshwater with over 540 miles of shoreline, making it one of the cleanest lakes in the nation. Norfork Dam, built in 1944, was built in the river gorge where the North Fork River runs into the White River near Norfork, Arkansas. Outdoor adventures await you as spearfishing, fishing for bass, crappie, and walleye, diving into sunken treasures, hiking the beautiful bluffs and rolling hills are just a few activites Norfork Lake has to offer.
Bull Shoals Dam was completed in 1951 and impounded the White River as it travels towards the Mississippi River to create Bull Shoals Lake. The lake has almost 1,000 miles of rugged shoreline, has approx. 45,500 surface acres, and is perfect for boating, water sports, swimming and fishing. Scuba divers come to Bull Shoals Lake to enjoy their sport in the clear, blue waters. Largemouth, spotted, and white bass, crappie, channel cat fish, bream and walleye, as well as rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout below the dam draw fishermen to this beautiful lake located along the Missouri-Arkansas line.