Branson Lakes History – Natural Attractions Bring Millions to the Ozarks

Branson lakes may not be as well known as the hundreds of music shows that this town is famous for. However without the Branson trilakes area, the billion dollar tourist industry may never have come to Branson. Learn about the history of the Branson lakes and how some of the largest manmade lakes in the midwest came to be.

Formerly the White River, the 2,000+ acre Lake Taneycomo was the first of the Branson lakes created when the “Power Site” Dam near Forsyth, MO was completed in 1913. In 1958 when Table Rock Dam was completed Lake Taneycomo changed from a warm to a cold water lake that is a perfect habitat for trout. In 1957 the Missouri Department of Conservation created the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery approximately 6 miles south of Branson. The hatchery produces an average 1,125,000 catchable trout each year. In addition to great trout fishing, Lake Taneycomo offers a myriad of other water activities including swimming and boating. Several scenic cruises of this Branson lake depart from the Branson waterfront.

Created with the completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958, Table Rock Lake is the largest of the Branson lakes, offering 52,000 acres of exciting water fun. Visitors can also hop aboard the Showboat Branson Belle (an 1890s paddle wheeler) and enjoy a scenic cruise with elegant dining and live entertainment. A renowned bass fishing lake, Table Rock Lake is a great spot for largemouth & smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish.

Bull Shoals Dam was completed in 1951 creating the 45,000 acre Bull Shoals Lake in Branson. A beautiful pristine body of water, Bull Shoals Lake flows from Forsyth into Arkansas and has a rugged mostly undeveloped shoreline with several marinas and public landings. This Branson lake offers a wide variety of recreational water activities including swimming, boating and fishing.

For more information on the lakes region, be sure to visit our Branson trilakes area page.