Branson’s Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake water sports for a perfect summers day. photo MDC

Three Lakes – The Branson/Lakes Areas are known for the 3 big, beautiful lakes: Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals. All three lakes offer an endless array of water sports and liesure activities.

Water sports enthusiasts can swim, water ski, wakeboard, tube, boat, sail, scuba dive, jet ski, parasail, kayak, and of course, fish. The lakes’ waters don’t freeze, welcoming visitors’ activities year round.

All three lakes offer camping, RV parks and, easy access to the water at a number of public marinas and boat docks/launch areas. Many of the resorts on the three lakes offer guide service, outfitters, rental boats and private dock facilities for visitors’ boats. Several commercial marinas offer fishing guide service and a wide range of boat rentals including ski boats, pontoon boats, bass boats and wave runners.

Table Rock Lake –  highlights include the gorgous Table Rock State Park  which offers Marina Discounts for Table Rock Campers, the Table Rock Dam tour and the Shepherd of the Hills fish hatchery.

Table Rock Dam and hatchery tours start at the Dewey Short visitors center. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

Take the Dam Tour

One of the largest dams in Missouri, few people are aware that they can take a guided tour inside the Table Rock dam. The tours leave from the Dewey Short Visitors Center (the south end of the dam.) Take a restored San Francisco Cable Car across the dam and down to the dam’s power plant.

You must be a U.S. citizen older than six to go on the tour, and security inside the dam is very tight. Security cameras are everywhere, and visitors can’t carry any personal items on the tour, including no purses, cameras, cell phones, water bottles or fanny packs.

The tour includes the major areas of the dam, including a look at the turbines and massive 18-foot-diameter penstock pipes that feed them with water from Table Rock Lake. You will even stand inside the deep passageway that was designated as a fallout shelter during the Cold War. Plus, you’ll also get a great view of the spillway from inside the security fence.

Built primarily for flood control,Table Rock Dam also generates hydroelectric power. The power plant produces more than 200,000 kilowatts of electricity when all four turbines are engaged.

The tour is a unique experience,  few dams in the United States offer tours.

Dam Details: Be there at least 20-30 minutes early.

  • Tours leave from the Dewey Short Visitors Center every day at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Price: $14.50 for adults (12+), $8.00 for children (6-11), children younger than 6 not permitted.
  • More info: www.tablerockdamtours.com or call 417-266-7621
  • Travel Tip: Be sure to use the restroom before leaving the Dewey Short Visitors Center; no bathroom facilities are available at the dam.

Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery  –  is the largest trout production facility in the Missouri Department of Conservation trout production program. The hatchery is below the dam, where the cold water spills into Lake Taneycomo.

Taneycomo lake, below the dam where the water spills out of Table Rock at 45 degrees. photo Patsy Bell Hobson.

Area Hours: September – June: 9 am – 5 pm
Memorial Day – Labor Day: 9 am – 6 pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Address 483 Hatchery Road
Branson, MO 65616 Six miles to the southwest of Branson,

Directions: The hatchery and conservation center are located on Highway 165 just south of Branson, below the dam at Table Rock Lake.

Tablerock Lake Facts

Table Rock Dam and Powerhouse was completed in 1959.

The dam is 6,423 feet long and 252 feet high.

There are 43,000 to 52,300 (approx.) acres of surface area depending on the water level

Vacationers and sportsmen enjoy 750+ miles of shoreline.

The dam is more than a mile long (6,423 feet counting the concrete dam and earthen embankments)

For more information about Branson: Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

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