A little more than a century ago, the 700-mile White River flowed past Branson on its way through Missouri and Arkansas. Lake Taneycomo was formed in 1913 when a dam was constructed downstream near Forsyth, Missouri. Its waters were warm until the lake’s southern end became defined in 1958 with construction of Table Rock Dam, which began drawing water from the depths of newly created Table Rock Lake for its power generators, turning Lake Taneycomo into a cold-water lake virtually overnight.
It wasn’t long, of course, before the idea hatched of creating a fish hatchery to release trout into Lake Taneycomo. Today, the lake is one of the best in the nation for trout fishing, but its cold waters make it too uncomfortable for swimming (58 degrees average temperature).
With its long and narrow shape as it snakes south of Branson and past Branson Landing, Lake Taneycomo still looks and feels more like a river, with about 40 miles of shoreline. In addition to fishing, popular activities include canoeing, kayaking and boating. It’s accessible from many areas besides Branson Landing (where you can board sightseeing boats for cruises on the lake), including Rockaway Beach, Forsyth, Hollister, and the Fall Creek area.