© 2022 Elsevier LtdLakes are hotspots for global carbon cycling, yet few studies have explored how rainstorms alter the flux, composition, and bio-lability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in inflowing rivers using high-frequency monitoring. We conducted extensive campaigns in the watershed of Lake Taihu and made daily observations for three years in its two largest inflowing tributaries, River Dapu and River Yincun. We found higher DOC, bio-labile DOC (BDOC), and specific UV absorbance (SUVA254) levels in the northwestern inflowing regions compared with the remaining lake regions. DOC and BDOC increased during rainstorms in River Dapu, and DOC declined due to local dilution and BDOC increased during rainstorms in River Yincun. We found that rainstorms resulted in increased DOM absorbance a350, SUVA254, and humification index (HIX) and enhanced percentages of humic-like fluorescent components, %polycyclic condensed aromatic and %polyphenolic compounds as revealed from ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), while spectral slope (S275-295) and the percentages of protein-like C1 and C3 declined during rainstorms compared with other seasons. This can be explained by a combined flushing of catchment soil organic matter and household effluents. The annual inflows of DOC and BDOC to Lake Taihu were 1.15 ± 0.18 × 104 t C yr−1 and 0.23 ± 0.06 × 104 t C yr−1 from River Dapu and 2.92 ± 0.42 × 103 t C yr−1 and 0.53 ± 0.07 × 103 t C yr−1 from River Yincun, respectively, and the fluxes of DOC and BDOC from both rivers increased during rainstorms. We found an elevated frequency of heavy rainfall and rainstorms in the lake watershed during the past six decades. We conclude that an elevated input of terrestrial organic-rich DOM with concurrent high aromaticity and high bio-lability from inflowing rivers is likely to occur in a future wetter climate.