Most shoreline property owners at Lake of the Ozarks already know the answer to the question, “What is shoreline management?” But those thinking about relocating to the Lake may be unaware of Ameren Missouri’s role in management of the shoreline. Our Lake is the only large reservoir in Missouri that is not owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lake of the Ozarks is a privately-owned reservoir used mainly for power generation. Ameren Missouri is the public utility owner, and has a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to generate electricity at Bagnell Dam. As part of that license to generate power, we also must manage the Lake’s shoreline.
Due to significant development pressure and the reservoir's large size, shoreline management at Lake of the Ozarks can be a daunting task. Our team manages the largest single contiguous piece of real estate under Ameren Missouri ownership. The Lake’s size is enormous: 55,000 acres, 1150 shoreline miles− more than the coast of California −and 94 miles in total length. Couple the geography with nearly 50,000 shoreline dwelling units and commercial businesses, and you start to understand the magnitude of the shoreline management task at the most popular lake in the Midwest.
Ameren Missouri owns or controls all the shoreline surrounding the Lake up to a specific elevation. The most important elevation to remember at Lake of the Ozarks is 662 feet above sea level. During the summer, this is 2 vertical feet above the full pool elevation of 660 feet. This 662 foot elevation is known as the project boundary. Between this elevation and the lake, most new Lakefront structures are not allowed. Those that are allowed –boat docks, boat ramps, piers, pumps and other acceptable facilities−must first receive a permit from our shoreline management office. If you are planning a new construction project near the shoreline, contact our office first to ensure it meets our guidelines. We manage those allowable shoreline improvements by following a Shoreline Management Plan. The shoreline management team and its plan focus on balancing the needs of a diverse set of Lake users in a way that protects the Lake’s most valuable recreational, environmental and historic resources.
At Ameren Missouri, we continually look for ways to improve customer services and programs at the Lake. Most notably, Ameren Missouri has greatly increased its focus on shoreline management by opening the Lake office and assembling a dedicated staff in response to significant federal license changes emphasizing that responsibility. For many years now, we have invested significant resources to assist Lake residents, visitors and second homeowners by developing one of the most sophisticated shoreline programs in the United States. Using state-of- the art GIS and mobile inspection systems to implementing one of the most robust permit management systems in the country, Ameren Missouri works hard to provide top-notch service to Lake residents and visitors. Below are just a few of the Lake programs we administer:
- Annual Spring and Fall cleanups conducted by thousands of Adopt-the-Shoreline program volunteers and members
- Shoreline Development Permit program that issues more than 2000 shoreline permits per year
- Lake-wide inspection program covering more than 1,000 miles of shoreline each year
- Dock float testing for encapsulated foam quality
- Certified Dock Builder Program
- Derelict structure and navigational hazard program
- Shoreline Protection Hot line – 573-365-9203
- Public GIS and Shoreline Management website
- Mile marker sign installation and maintenance
- Lake-wide annual mosquito control spraying
- Programs designed to protect and enhance habitat, wetlands, recreational areas and historic sites
- Public education through annual newsletters, workshops and events
Ameren Missouri Shoreline Management staff members are eager to serve Lake visitors and residents from their new offices on Willmore Lane in Lake Ozark. Ameren Missouri is very proud to have the important responsibility of managing the Lake’s shoreline to ensure this great resource is available for many generations to come. Visit www.AmerenMissouri.com/lake for more information on Ameren Missouri and its shoreline management programs, or call 573-365-9208.
Feel free to stop by with questions about your property, shoreline permits, permit transfers or any of our Lake programs. The office is located at 3 Willmore Lane in Lake Ozark. Office hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.