Lake Taneycomo-White River Watershed - 319 Project



The Lake Taneycomo-White River watershed is a sub-watershed of the larger White River Basin watershed spanning portions of Arkansas and Missouri within the Ozark Plateau of the United States Interior Highlands.   

Lake Taneycomo was the first in a series of reservoirs constructed along the White River beginning in 1913, and is located just downstream of Table Rock Lake. In 1994, Lake Taneycomo was placed on the state of Missouri 303(d) list due to low dissolved oxygen content. In 2010, a TMDL was approved for Lake Taneycomo, which had not met the dissolved oxygen minimum water quality criterion of 6 mg/L (or parts per million; ppm) required for its designated use as a cold-water fishery. The TMDL identified low DO originating from Table Rock Dam upstream as a high-priority pollutant impacting aquatic life.

While Table Rock Dam is a known pollution source, nutrients and organic materials originating in upstream watersheds can also factor in low DO concentrations below dams. Rising urban populations have been identified within the TMDL as potential sources contributing to the amount of nutrients and oxygen-consuming substances found within the watershed, and reducing these nutrients can have a positive effect on DO conditions in Lake Taneycomo.     

Increased sedimentation and erosion are common issues related to impoundments, and increased sedimentation has been cited by local residents as a problem. To begin to address this issue, the location and severity of shoreline erosion along lake and sediment deposition areas (stream mouth "deltas") in the lake will be assessed using rapid bank assessment techniques, and historical aerial photographic analyses will be used to identify bank line location changes over (approximately) a 20-year historical period. 

Finally, demonstration project will be implemented during the final phases of this project, in which OEWRI will participate alongside Ozarks Water Watch, stakeholders from local governments, the private sector, and residents, in the installation of a porous trail system created from recycled tires and dissemination of education regarding the importance of pervious materials in urbanized watersheds.


1. Participate in advisory committee meetings and general public meetings composed of local government representatives, utility, and technical staff, regional state and federal management staff, and additional stakeholders.

2. Use STEP-L modeling to (i) assess nonpoint source loads from sub-watershed areas, (ii) target effective BMPs, and (iii) estimate load reductions for different BMP scenarios. Modeling will quantify total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and sediment sources, concentrations, and loadings.

3. OEWRI, with the help of MDNR and other databases, will evaluate water quality and discharge data sets, quantify trends where possible, and develop results for comparisons to model output.

4. Participate and help organize, when appropriate, demonstration projects to publicly address the water quality problem in the watershed, focusing on bank restoration. The first part of the demonstration project will consist of an assessment on Bull Creek (bank stability, impacts on sediment loads, area/volume and management history, and depositional dynamics of the sedimentation zone), and will include the justification, targeting, and planning of the location of the demonstration. Secondly, OEWRI will participate in developing local interest and educating the general public regarding the demonstration. Third, OEWRI will work together with OWW to bid out the specifications for the demonstration, and oversee the implementation of the porous pavement.

5. Draft and complete a nine-element watershed management plan.


  • Ozarks Water Watch
  • City of Branson
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII -Section 319