Lake Taneycomo


Posted by Phil Lilley on December 1st, 2011
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Trout Limit

Daily Limit per person – 4 trout
One (1) can be a brown trout 20-inches and longer.
Possession Limit per person – 8 trout
Two (2) can be a brown trout 20-inches and longer. 

No fishing zone – 760 feet from the base wall of Table Rock Dam downstream, marked by a cable stretched across the lake.

See SPECIAL REGULATIONS pertaining to the upper end of Taneycomo at the bottom of this page.

There is no length limit on rainbow trout below Fall Creek and throughout the rest of the lake downstream, an area that exceeds 20 miles in length.

German Browns:
Browns have to be twenty inches or more to keep lake-wide.  Any browns caught must be release immediately back into the water unharmed.

Fishing License 
Daily Missouri fishing permit- $7    These permits are sold per day.
Non-resident annual permit- $42
Resident annual permit- $12
Missouri annual trout stamp- $7
Child’s Trout Stamps – $3.50 (under the ages of 16 years)

Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online!

Trout Stamp:

Anyone fishing above highway 65 bridge in Branson MUST have in his possession a Missouri Trout Stamp, regardless of what the angler is fishing for. An angler possessing a Missouri Trout Stamp, can catch and keep FOUR trout per day, one of these can be a brown trout over twenty inches in length. Possession limit is two days- EIGHT trout- only two can be browns over twenty inches. Skin or heads must be left on cleaned trout for identification when on the water. If cleaned trout are kept in, say zip-lock bags, each bag must have a name written on it.

Missouri’s fiscal year begins on March 1 and ends on February 28 each year.

MCD Stats…….

5% of trout catch and released using artificial bait die – 1 of 20
20% of trout caught and released using live bait die – 1 of 5

Special Regulations for Lake Taneycomo

Effective March 1, 1997
“Trophy Area”

Area Affected:
From Table Rock Dam down to the mouth of Fall Creek, approximately 3 ½ miles.

Bait Restriction
Artificial Only:
You MAY use feather or hair jigs, spinners, spoons, hard-plastic crank baits and flies. You MAY NOT use live bait- minnows, night crawlers, wax worms, sculpin, crickets, shad – plastic baits- tube jigs, Sluggos, Bass Assassins, Power Bait, plastic worms, plastic eggs– or prepared baits- Power Bait, dough baits, corn marshmallows, cheese; any other bait that can and will absorb scents. Anything that is soft or smells is illegal to use above the mouth of Fall Creek.

Length Restriction
Slot Limit On Rainbows:
Rainbows caught above the mouth of Fall Creek measuring 12 inches or greater, and smaller than 20 inches must be released back into the water immediately and unharmed.  This is commonly called a slot limit because those rainbows measuring from 12 to 20 inches are protected.  The limit on brown trout remains the same lake wide (20-inch limit).

Issues To Be Aware Of
Possession And Proper Way To Measure A Trout:
You must NOT be in possession of a rainbow within the release slot limit (12- to 20-inches) while you’re in the restricted area.  Don’t take rainbows between 12 and 20 inches, caught below the area, above Fall Creek or you’ll be in violation. You must NOT drag any rainbows from above Fall Creek past Fall Creek and out of the area just so you can keep them.  If you hook a rainbow between 12 and 20 inches above Fall Creek, drift below Fall Creek and then boat the rainbow, you can legally keep it, if the distance you drifted is reasonable.  Possession doesn’t come until the rainbow is inside the boat.  This situation can and will be judged  by the agent.  If the agent believes the intent of the fisherman is to prolong the fight so he can keep the trout, the agent could write a ticket.  Intent is the key word.

Legal And Proper Way To Measure A Trout: 
Close the mouth and measure from the tip of the lip.  Pinch the tail and measure to the tips.

Live Bait In The Restricted Area:  
Live bait can be carried in the boat above Fall Creek but make sure it does find it’s way on a hook.

Trout Lure Definitions



an artificial lure constructed on a single point hook, using any material except soft plastic bait and natural and scented baits as defined below, that is tied, glued or otherwise permanently attached.

Artificial Lure

a lure constructed of any material excluding soft plastic bait and natural and scented bait as defined below.

Soft Plastic Bait

synthetic eggs, synthetic worms, synthetic grubs and soft plastic lures.

Natural and Scented Baits

a natural fish food such as bait fish, crayfish, frogs permitted as bait, grubs, insects, larvae, worms, salmon eggs, cheese, corn and other food substances not containing any ingredient to stupefy, injure or kill fish. This does not include flies or artificial lures. It does include dough bait, putty or paste-type bait, any substance designed to attract fish by taste or smell and any fly, lure or bait containing or used with such substances.

Other Limits-

**Bass, black (largemouth), smallmouth and spotted bass (kentuckies)- 12-inches length limit, 6 daily, 12 possession.

Statewide season on bass in rivers and streams is open from the 4th Saturday of May till the last day in February annually.

White bass, striper, hybrid bass- 15 total daily (only 4- 18 inches or longer can be kept in a daily limit), 30 possession.

Rock bass (goggleye) – no length limit, 15 daily, 30 possession.

Crappie, white or black – no length limit, 30 daily, 60 possession.

Bluegill – no limit

Catfish – no length limit, 10 daily (only 5 can be flatheads in a daily limit), 20 possession.

Walleye – 15 inch minimum length, 4 daily, 8 possession.

Spoonbill – 2 daily between March 15 and April 30. Length – 34 inches between the eye to the fork of the tail minimum.

Non-Game fish – Snagging, snaring and grabbing are allowed from 3/15 – 4/30 only.
Report Violations – Poachers

In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.

Missouri Wildlife Code

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