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Army Corps Of Engineers – Everything You Need To Know


Table Rock Lake is part of a multiple lake dam system created and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers (COE). The federal government owns the lake and the lakefront. There is technically no private lakefront land on any COE lake. 

When you see a “lakefront” property on Table Rock that typically means the land adjoins the COE take line. The take line is where the federal property starts and private ownership ends. Beyond that line is considered public land. Anyone can walk through it (as long as they’re not trespassing across private land to get to it, fish, hunt (within local limitations) and swim.

If you own property adjoining the take line (aka corps line) you can build, clear and improve right up to that line (within the county requirements for setbacks from your property line). Once you have a permanent structure there (foundation) you can apply for a vegetation permit. If you are granted a vegetation permit you are then allowed to clear anything less than 2″ in diameter within a certain distance from the foundation of your home towards the lake (refer to the COE website for specifics).  You can also apply for a path permit. This would allow you to create a 6′ wide meandering path to the water. You can’t make any modifications to the land that the COE would consider permanent (concrete) but you can lay down a bed of mulch, gravel or lay flagstone along your trail. 

If you are planning to STR on Table Rock Lake keep in mind that you can not rent your boat slip. The COE is very restrictive when it comes to commerce on the lake. The only entities that are allowed to rent or lease slips are resorts and marinas. If you are looking at a home that has a slip available in a community dock it will add virtually no value to you from a rental perspective. However, if you’re lucky enough to stumble across a property with a private boat dock (and have pockets deep enough to buy it) that may be beneficial. While you cannot rent the slip you can allow guests to swim off the dock and provide non-motorized water toys for them to enjoy.  

There is one point of contact for definitive answers on lakeshore zoning for all of Table Rock. His name is Malcolm and he works out of the Dewey Short Visitor Center (at the dam). He is the guy that approves or denies all permit applications.



Here is the link for the interactive COE Master Plan map. It will show you how every inch of the lakefront is zoned, where there are current permits in place and where the potential exists for various permits (docks, vegetation, etc…):

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