Osage Howler

June 30-July 1

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(573) 434 - 4400

PO Box 836

Sunrise Beach, MO 65079


The LOWA watershed management plan focuses on the two HUCs  (Hydrologic Unit Codes) of Buck Creek and Lick Branch.

To see a copy of the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Management Plan

How a Watershed Works

LOWA has developed one of only 2 U.S. EPA approved Missouri watershed management plans.

Imagine if we did not have the Lake of the Ozarks; can you?  A life without the lake is possible, and worse!

All water is recycled water, whether by nature or by people. The quality and quantity of our water is always at risk. Changes in land use which increase the amount of impervious surfaces, such as more pavements and rooftops, increase runoff volume and velocity, causing increased flooding and erosion. Impervious surfaces also prevent water from soaking into the ground and replenishing groundwater supplies within a watershed.

Everyone lives in one watershed or another and everything everyone does effects not only their watershed but those downstream. The Lake of the Ozarks watershed is a driving economic and recreational force in the State of Missouri, bringing millions of dollars into the state and local businesses and municipalities.

Future generations are dependent on what we do today to preserve and protect our lake asset. LOWA is dedicated to ensuring the thriving social, economical, and natural resource that is the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.



Watershed management is a term used to describe the process of implementing land use practices and water management practices to protect and improve the quality of the water and other natural resources within a watershed by managing the use of those land and water resources in a comprehensive manner.

Few communities are alone in a watershed. They are each affected by activities of neighboring communities, towns, and cities, areas upstream or downstream, all are in a common watershed. The LOWA watershed approach brings diverse interests and resources together to solve common problems.

  1. Bare Shoreline - Subject to erosion and allows direct run-off into the waterway
  2. Solid dock - disrupts current flow, blocks wildlife, causes erosion
  3. Chemical and fertilizer spills run-off from lawn care pollute water and destroy water quality
  4. Paved lane - allows runoff direct route to water with no filtration
  5. No shade trees- overworks air conditioning unit, raises utility bills, and and increases burden on electrical grid for everyone
  6. Removal of natural landscaping means more work for residents and more runoff to the watershed
  7. Lawn clippings removed deprive soil of natural nutrients meaning even more fertilizer and chemicals
  8. Ornamental shrubs means more work and chemicals
  9. Poor fuel management -Spills are deadly for a watershed
  10. Hardened shoreline - blocks wildlife access, and negates natural filter creating poor water quality
  1. Natural Shoreline - The Natural Shoreline provides protection for local wildlife and additional barrier for runoff
  2. A Smaller floating dock creates low impact on shoreline
  3. A septic system located far from shore or central sewer system reduces pollution
  4. A narrow graveled footpath has less chance for erosion
  5. Trimmed trees and awnings provide natural air conditioning while maintaining a view
  6. Residents of the watershed are able to relax more and enjoy all the watershed has to offer
  7. A kitchen compost improves your soil and creates a better growing area
  8. A low-impact natural landscape provides a natural buffer to filter runoff
  9. A building set far back from the shoreline and matches its natural surroundings
  10. Well maintained motor-electric or modern 4-stroke outboard operated at no wake near shoreline means low impact

A watershed is an area of land where the runoff from rain and snow will ultimately drain to a particular stream, river, wetland, or other body of water. Healthy watersheds provide plentiful drinking water supplies, habitat for fish and wildlife, and water for irrigation, industry, or recreation activities. Without clean water supplies, our society would be radically changed from what it is today.

In a watershed even the slightest of changes can make a big impact. Below is a great example of how your yard can have an effect on the Lake of the Ozarks watershed.