Branson’s Canada Geese and waterfowl ask, “Please don’t feed us!”

Please don't feed the geese - Lake Taneycomo in Branson MO

180814 Sign geese dont feed 1 480x600 - Branson's Canada Geese and waterfowl ask, "Please don't feed us!"
Educational signs thanking people for not feeding the Canada Geese and other waterfowl.

Branson’s lakes are home to all sorts of waterfowl

Its natural beauty, surrounding Ozark Mountains, and Lakes, along with its live shows and attractions, have been drawing millions of visitors to Branson, Missouri for decades. That natural beauty and its it’s working. Not only is there a substantial reduction in the number of geese in the area, but in the amount of their feces that he had to clean off his parking lot each day to keep his customers from walking through it and tracking it into his business. It goes without saying that those same benefits accrue to those who use the road for recreation and the campers in the Campground.. The beautiful Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo, provide excellent fishing for bass and trout; an aquatic wonderland for boating, swimming and water sports; and an excellent habitat for water fowl. So, metamorphically speaking, why would Branson’s waterfowl ask, “”Please don’t feed us!”

Lakes are convenient for migratory water fowl

The Branson area lakes provide a convenient resting and feeding place for migratory water fowl as they follow their natural migration and seasonal patterns. It also provides an excellent home for those migratory water fowl, such as the “Canada Goose,” who decide to stay in the area for prolonged periods of time rather than “travel on.”

Problems with feeding Canada Geese and waterfowl

Isolated individuals and pairs are not a problem, but large numbers of them, congregating in one area near people can cause problems for both the geese and people. That problem multiplies exponentially when they congregate in an area to be fed food they do not normally eat and that area is extremely close to a campground filled with families, such as the city of Branson’s Lakeside RV Park (Campground), located on the shores of Lake Taneycomo just south of Branson Landing.

Waterfowl problems from eating “people food”

The shore line directly in front of the Campground has become the area where people gather to feed the geese and ducks. This attracts large numbers of Canada Geese and other water fowl. The City of Branson and the Missouri Department of Conservation are working together to inform the public, through signage, that the “people food” they are feeding the geese and other water fowl, typically processed bread, French fries, popcorn, etc., while ok for humans, is not in their natural diet. It doesn’t contain the right nutrition, makes them more susceptible to disease, ill, and more aggressive toward people.

Impact lakeshore recreation

The large number of geese being fed and the impact of that on their digestive system has resulted in their feces being spread from the shoreline, across the road and up to the trailers in the Campground. Not only campers, but the many people walking, running, and biking on the road are also exposed to it. In an effort to mitigate the problem, for both the geese and waterfowl, as well the campers and others who enjoy using the lakefront, the City of Branson and the Missouri

Educational signage, “Thank You For Not Feeding Us,” helping to resolve situation

Department of Conservation have erected a number of “Thank You For Not Feeding Us” signs along the Lake Taneycomo shore line in front of the Campground. Lamar Patten, the owner of Scotty’s Trout Dock and Marina, at the south end of the campground, near the public boat launch ramp, says that, thanks to peoples cooperation in not feeding the waterfowl, it’s working. Not only is there a substantial reduction in the number of geese in the area, but in the amount of their feces that he had to clean off his parking lot each day to keep his customers from walking through it and tracking it into his business. A drive down the road between the lake and Campground indicates that those same benefits are accruing to the many people who use the road for recreation and the campers in the Campground.

Corps warns Branson boaters, “A Life Jacket Worn, Nobody Mourns”

Water Safety Are You Next - Table Rock Lake

180518 corps Water Safety Are You Next NOP 2 600x338 - Corps warns Branson boaters, "A Life Jacket Worn, Nobody Mourns"

A fall into Branson’s Lake Taneycomo without a life jacket

A recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers press release entitled “Cold Water Can Be Dangerous For Unprepared Boaters,” hit close to home. It brought back vivid memories of the day, I fell out of a boat into the icey cold waters of Branson’s Lake Taneycomo without a life Jacket on.

At first blush all seemed under control, but…

To this day, I don’t know how I fell out, but I will never forget the cold shock of looking at blue sky from under the surface of the lake. At first I wasn’t worried because they were not running a lot of water, I only had to get about 15 feet to a shallow gravel bar, and my buddy Howard Couch was bringing the boat up alongside.

That lasted less than about 30 seconds. As I came to the surface and took my first couple of strokes toward the gravel bar, I quickly became aware of two things. The first was that the current, relatively slow by Lake Taneycomo standards that morning, was moving me away from the gravel bar toward a drop off into deeper water. I was numb and could not effectively swim either the short distance to the gravel bar or even stand up.

When Howard pulled alongside me in the boat all I could do was hang on to the side because I did not have the strength to pull myself into the boat. Even when he used the boat to nudge me into the shallower water onto the gravel bar, my legs were so numb I could not get them to function so I could stand up and walk out. Fortunately I was able to hang onto the side of the boat while Howard literally dragged me across the gravel bar to the point where it was shallow enough to let go and I could crawl out on my hands and knees.

Fear because of no life jacket

All during the process, I feared what would happen if I lost my grip on the side of the boat and, with no life jacket on, the current took me into the deeper water. My story, as embarrassing as it is, ended, well and better than those of some who have fallen into Lake Taneycomo. If the current had been faster, we had been in deeper water, or Howard had not handled the boat as efficiently as he did, it would have been a story with a very different ending.

Would a life jacket have changed the ending? In this case given its unique circumstances probably not, but had I lost my grip on the side of the boat, the current been any faster, Howard not as quick to respond, I believe the answer is, “Definitely.” Needless to say, I do not go out on a boat in Lake Taneycomo without a life jacket or PFD.

Corps reminder

The Corps reminds us that Memorial Day weekend, and the formal start of the boating season on Branson’s lakes, is almost here. It suggests checking out and urges boaters to always wear a life jacket. Saying, “The water is still deceptively cold.  If you fall from your boat, or your boat capsizes, you’re in for a shock, especially if you’re not wearing a life jacket.

“Upon the initial plunge, the cold water takes your breath away.  Your muscles tense, and you may get painful cramps. With a life jacket, you can stay afloat and stay alive.  Without one, you may not be able to swim at all… Remember, life jacket worn, nobody mourns.”

The Corps has  more boating and water safety tips at  www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Water-Safety/.

Table Rock Dam Auxiliary Spillway Inspection to Closes One Lane of Highway 165

Spillway Inspection Closure Dates, Times, and Co-ordination

One lane of Highway 165 across Table Rock Lake’s Dam and Auxiliary Spillway will be closed for bridge spillway inspection from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily May 22-23. The closure has been coordinated with local emergency and law enforcement agencies.

Be Cautious and Expect Delays

Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers Table Rock Project Office said they regret any inconvenience the spillway inspection may cause. If you are traveling in this area, please expect delays, obey traffic lights, and be cautious around work crews and equipment.

For more information, please contact the Table Rock Project Office at 501-340- 1950.

Corps releasing 5,000 cfs through Table Rock Dam spillways

Corps began spillway release at Table Rock Lake

This is a normal release once Table Rock Lake is between its Conservation Pool and 920. A total of five spillways are open one foot each. We would anticipate the closing of the spillways once Table Rock Lake drops to 917.Corps began spillway release at Table Rock Lake

BRANSON, Mo. — The Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District began a spillway release Friday from Table Rock Dam. Five spillway gates will be opened for one foot releasing about 5,000 cubic per second. The spillway release combined with releases from three generators will equal a 24 hour average […]

Branson’s Moonshine Beach opens May 15

120619 Moonshine Beach 8 - Branson's Moonshine Beach opens May 15
120619 Moonshine Beach 8 600x314 - Branson's Moonshine Beach opens May 15
Moonshine Beach is another of the great things there is to do in Branson.

Much of what there is to see and do in Branson is amid the beauty of the Ozarks. Each year, tens of thousands of  its visitors enjoy Branson’s Moonshine Beach on Table Rock Lake. Operated by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the beach opens,  for the 2018 season, on May 15.

When people think of Branson, great live shows, shopping, golfing, fishing, outdoor fun, and attractions typically come to mind. Enjoying a beautiful big sandy beach is not something most think of. One visit to Branson’s  Moonshine Beach will change all of that!

Branson’s Moonshine Beach Location and Amenities

Moonshine Beach, is in a long gentle cove of Table Rock Lake at the north end of Table Rock Dam. It’s location, in the shadow of the Chateau on the Lake Resort, on State Highway 165 in Branson, is fewer than ten minutes from the center of the famed “Branson Strip.”

The beautiful large sandy beach surprises many. Whether it’s swimming, beach volleyball, sunbathing, or simply relaxing, Branson’s Moonshine Beach is “full service.” It offers amenities including showers, flush toilets, a large picnic shelter (pavilion), kid’s playground, picnic tables, food vendors, and a boat launching ramp.

Branson’s Moonshine Beach is conveniently located near other attractions that you, and your family, may enjoy. It’s less than five minutes from the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery; the multi-million dollar Dewey Short Visitors Center, the “White River Landing,” home of Branson’s Showboat Branson Bell, and a number of hiking trails.

Tips and Suggestions

Moonshine Beach is one of Branson’s least advertised, but most popular, attractions. As a result, in planning a day at Moonshine Beach, especially during the months when school is out, it’s best to plan to arrive as early as possible. The beach’s parking fills up rapidly, resulting in a long walk from the closest alternate parking. Also, you need to get there early if you want your choice of spots on the beach, picnic tables, or other amenities.

Hours of operation and contact information for Branson’s Moonshine Beach

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs Moonshine Beach for “day use” only. Therefore, it has no overnight camping and is only open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily. It does not allow pets, and charges a $5.00 per carload per day fee.

Please visit the website, Moonshine Beach, or call 1-877-444-6777 for more information.