Oxbow Lake is located at Union Lake and Elizabeth Lake Roads (42°38'26"N 83°28'23"W / 42.64056°N 83.47306°W / 42.64056; -83.47306; Elevation: 945 ft./288 m.). The lake is in White Lake Township and is bordered by M-59 (Highland Road) to the North, Teggerdine Road to the West, and Elizabeth Lake Road to the South.
Oxbow Lake is the third lake in the Huron River chain, which originates just a few miles away in the Huron Swamp at the Indian Springs Metropark. Tull Lake pumps millions of gallons of water from the Huron River nearly every day, but due to the porous basin of man-made Tull Lake, most of this water seeps back into Oxbow Lake. Still, the Tull Lake pumps frequently cause the Huron River to flow back upstream, robbing Oxbow Lake of the natural water flow any natural lake needs to thrive. The Huron River between Tull and Oxbow Lakes is dangerously threatened by siltification, which would result in the loss of lake access to a number of our riparians. Neither the Michigan DNR nor any other State or local governmental agencies have addressed this problematic issue.
Oxbow Lake is a private lake, called such because it does not have any public launch facilities nor any public access. If you do not live on the lake, the only way to access the lake is via privately-owned property. Oxbow Lake is an all-sports lake which allows all manners of boating and water sports. Being a fairly large inland lake, we have enough water surface area to enjoy water sports including fishing, cruising, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing and every kid's favorite, tubing behind a boat. Traffic on the lake is normally heavy on the weekends and extremely heavy over holidays. The best fishing is during weekdays and other periods of low boat traffic.
Oxbow Lake has Northern Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye (which are stocked), Bluegill and other sorts of Panfish, Rock Bass, Crappie, Little Yellow Perch, Catfish, Gar, Cisco, Bowfin and other specie in smaller numbers. As Oxbow Lake has progressed from an oligotrophic body to a mesotrophic lake, the Yellow Perch have declined in numbers and accordingly, as a feeder-fish for predators.
Oxbow Lake has a surface area of either 270 acres or 290 acres, depending on which map you choose. The Michigan DNR map done in the 1940s (dates are estimated) reflects 270 acres, but later satellite maps show a surface area of 290 acres. The lake is composed of 5 or 6 distinct pools of water, depending on how you look at it. The dredging of the "back bay" area probably added enough water to the lake to change the official numbers. Each of the pools of water are separated by shallows that often are no more than two feet deep.
Examination of the DNR survey shows the shallow areas all around the lake that are at times, overgrown with weeds and lily pads. These areas provide a good environment for young fish and fry, but the proliferation of weeds and aquatic growth certainly frustrates riparians because they impact boating and swimming on the lake. The entire issue of weeds and aquatic grasses is linked to changing composition of the lake, a process known as eutrophication. You can find more information about this entire matter in the Water Quality & Safety section of this site.