The primary objective of the Corps of Engineers in the management of the Table Rock Lake shoreline is to insure the general public full recreational enjoyment and fish and wildlife benefits on public lands and waters, both now and for generations to come. A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) (Part 2) has been developed that is designed to insure maximum benefit to the general public while preserving project resources. See the links menu to the left for a map of the shoreline zoning allocation map in PDF format.
The guidelines below have been compiled in an effort to provide general information about activities permitted on government-owned land around Table Rock Lake. They outline the procedures required to apply for permits or licenses for various activities or uses of government-owned lands. Space does not permit a complete listing of all possible activities, but this discussion covers most of them. Complete rules and regulations governing public use of Corps of Engineers projects are contained in CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327.
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Ownership of private land near the lake or adjoining government property does not convey any exclusive rights to use of the lake or adjoining public lands. An application must be made to the Project Office for a permit prior to construction of boat mooring facilities, alteration of government land, or modification of vegetation on the lakeshore. Shoreline use permits are issued and enforced in accordance with provisions of Title 36, Chapter III, CFR, Section 327.19. Non-compliance with the terms of the permit and the regulations will be grounds for revocation of the permit, and removal of the dock may be required.
A fee will be charged for shoreline use permits to help defray expenses associated with issuance and administration of the permits. The fee is $30 for a boat dock permit and $10 for a vegetative management permit. Where applicable Real Estate Fees may be applied. Both of these permits are valid for five years. All permits are nontransferable and non-refundable.
Boat Docks are permitted only in areas designated for limited development. Maps showing the location of these areas are available at the Project Office in Branson, Missouri. Or you can view a map of shoreline zoning in PDF format from this website. See the downloads menu to the right for the TR Lake Shoreline Zoning in PDF format. The density of development in limited development areas will depend on ecological and aesthetic values and the availability of satisfactory mooring areas. Approximately 10 percent of the shoreline is zoned as limited development area.
Docks are not allowed in close proximity to developed parks, shallow areas, and areas subject to exposure to winds and currents. Any new permitted docks must be a minimum of 12 slips and a maximum of 20 slips. Docks cannot extend beyond one-third of the width of the cove and must maintain 100 feet distance from any existing docks in the area.
Prior to inspection, applicants must have ready access to the shoreline either by public road, ownership of adjoining property, or right-of-access across adjoining property. Deeded parking may be required on private property. An individual will not be permitted more than one boat dock. The owner of each boat moored in a dock must own a slip in the dock. A family unit will be limited to a maximum of two single slips on Table Rock Lake.
All docks must meet or exceed the minimum design standards developed by the Little Rock District Office of the Corps of Engineers. An approved site inspection along with a meeting between new slip owners and a corps representative will be required prior to plans being submitted. A copy of these standards is available from within the Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan (Part 2). A site location and dock plans must be approved prior to construction, and the dock will be approved by a final inspection after installation including parking and access. Rangers will inspect each permitted facility for compliance with existing rules and regulations for the type of facility.
Electric lines, including those to private boat docks, must be licensed by the Corps of Engineers and must meet all local and state codes and the National Electric Code in effect at the time the docks are installed. For more information concerning electric on a dock and electric service to a dock see the Electrical Handout.
Vegetative management permits are issued for constructing footpaths, clearing small brush, and mowing. Adjacent landowners must obtain a permit from the Project Office prior to any modification of vegetation in the area. An application must be submitted, accompanied by a detailed drawing to show the complete scope of work requested. Forms and assistance in completing the Vegetation Management Application are available at the Project Office. After completing an application, an on-site inspection by a ranger is required prior to issuance of a permit. Shoreline modifications are subject to the following restrictions:
· Trimming of trees is prohibited.
· No flowering trees or shrubs such as dogwood, redbud and serviceberry may be removed regardless of size.
· Trees larger than two inches at DBH(4.5 feet from ground level) may not be removed.
· Only hand-operated tools may be used. The use of heavy equipment such as tractors is prohibited.
· Burning on public lands is not allowed.
· Placement of permanent or mortared structures on public lands is not allowed.
· No personal property is allowed to be stored on public lands.
· Driving on public lands is not allowed.
· The use of any type of chemicals on public lands is not allowed.
Mowing and removal of brush may only be permitted in an area adjacent to a habitable structure. The limits of mowing will depend on the proximity of the privately owned dwelling adjacent to the government boundary. The maximum distance of mowing will not exceed 200 feet from the habitable structure. The ranger will determine the distance of permitted mowing at the time of the site inspection. A ranger must inspect areas proposed for mowing before any modification is done.
Pedestrian access paths six feet or less in width may be constructed to the shoreline. The path must follow a meandering route to prevent erosion and to avoid the need for removal of trees and vegetation. Natural materials, such as creek gravel or wood chips, which blend in with the environment, may be used on the footpath. The permit does not convey the right to construct any structures (steps, bridges, etc.) in connection with the path.
Only dead trees that present a potential safety hazard to a boat dock or other structure will be approved for removal. A ranger must have previously inspected the dead trees before they may be cut. Burning on government property is prohibited.
Real estate instruments refer to leases, licenses or other legal grants issued for commercial or individual activities, which are not covered under Shoreline Use Permits. These activities involve construction of structures, including, but not limited to, masonry walkways, boat launch ramps and parking areas, roads, water lines and power lines. A written request must be submitted to the Project Office, who will make a recommendation to the district office. Each request for a license will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Assistance in preparing applications for real estate instruments is available at the Project Office.
Most of the boundary line on Table Rock Lake has been surveyed and monumented. Survey monuments placed at ground level define the boundary line. The survey markers are brass caps 3 ½ inches in diameter stamped to show the monument number, the year surveyed, and the agency, Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers, US Army. A 5-foot white steel fence post is set about one foot from the survey marker or monument, as an aid to location. Normally the project boundary is a straight line between survey markers. The elevations and distances between these survey markers vary. As an additional aid to locate the line, some trees along the boundary line are marked with a 4-inch wide white band. These trees, however, are usually off the line and only indicate that the line is nearby. Information is available at the Project Office to assist you in locating the boundary line.
Flowage easements were acquired above the boundary line up to, as a general rule, elevation 936 MSL. A flowage easement gives the government the perpetual right to overflow privately-owned land, if necessary, during flood control operation of the reservoir. The government also has the right to impose building restrictions on flowage easement. Specifically prohibited in the flowage easement area are any changes to the land contours and any structures for human habitation, whether permanent or temporary. Waste disposal systems and attached decks are considered a part of the habitable structure and are also not allowed. Construction of any type on flowage easement requires prior approval of the Corps of Engineers. There are over 875 flowage easement tracts, consisting of more than 3,000 acres, located on Table Rock Lake. You can view a map in PDF format from the downloads menu located to the right on this website. This map only shows potential areas of flowage easement on Table Rock Lake.
Hunting and trapping are permitted on the waters and on the surrounding government-owned lands of the projects and are subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Please refer to the Table Rock Lake Map for general locations of government owned lands. Officers of these same agencies will carry out enforcement. Hunting is prohibited in developed parks and other areas designated by the District Engineer and marked by the posting of appropriate signs. For a more detailed map of permitted hunting near the Cow Creek area, please refer to the Hunting Map Near Cow Creek
Permanent tree stands are prohibited on Corps of Engineers property. Permanent stands or steps are any type that penetrates the bark of a tree. Portable stands with the owner’s name and address permanently affixed are permitted. Stands are to be hung no earlier than one week before the opening and remain no longer than one week after the close of archery season.
The vast majority of bow hunting accidents occur from falling out of trees, please always wear a safety belt when using tree stands.
For more information on hunting safety, regulations, and licenses in Missouri, please contact the Missouri Department of Conservation and for Arkansas contact Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Should you have any questions concerning an application involving shoreline management please contact the Duty Ranger at 501-340-1935. You may also visit the Table Rock Lake Project Office, located just south of Table Rock Dam on Highway 165, Branson, Missouri. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Closed 11:30am to 12:30pm for lunch), Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Your interest and assistance in preserving the natural beauty and quality of the lake and shoreline will be appreciated both now and in the future.