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crappiencali
03-23-2006, 05:40 PM
I am not sure what ecatly a oxbow is and was wondering if you southern crappie fisherman can help me out and give me a definition. Thanks in advance:confused:

L.A. stumpjumper
03-23-2006, 05:53 PM
Crappiencali, an oxbow is a horseshoe shaped lake that used to be part of the river, but through the years the river cut through the sharp bend and cut off the horseshoe part of the river, leaving a lake. Hope this makes sense.

CrappiePappy
03-23-2006, 06:00 PM
I am not sure what ecatly a oxbow is and was wondering if you southern crappie fisherman can help me out and give me a definition. Thanks in advance:confused:



ox·bow
noun
Definitions:
1. bend in river: a bend in a river shaped like a "U"

2. land in river bend: the land that lies inside the bend of a river

3. geography
Same as oxbow lake

4. U-shaped collar for ox: a collar for an ox used as a draft animal, consisting of a U-shaped piece of wood attached to a yoke
*******************************************

Essentially, when anglers are talking about fishing "oxbows", they are referring to a river bend that has become land locked and seperated from the river - by the changing of the track of the river's flow. Like this:


What Is An Oxbow Lake?
An oxbow is a crescent-shaped lake lying alongside a winding river. The oxbow lake is created over time as erosion and deposits of soil change the river's course. You can see how an oxbow lake takes shape below:


(1) On the inside of the loop, the river travels more slowly leading to deposition of silt.
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/fresh/lakes/ox21.gif

(2) Meanwhile water on the outside edges tends to flow faster, which erodes the banks making the meander even wider.

(3) Over time the loop of the meander widens until the neck vanishes altogether.
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/fresh/lakes/ox22.gif

(4) Then the meander is removed from the river's current and the horseshoe shaped oxbow lake is formed. Without a current to move the water along, sediment builds up along the banks and fills in the lake.
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/fresh/lakes/ox23.gif

..........cp :cool:

fishingpox
03-23-2006, 06:33 PM
Does an ox bow lake necessarily have to be U- shaped? I fish some oxbows and hear guys called them that but, I know for a fact somes of these lakes run due east and west or north and south, though , however, they are in close proximity of the Mississippi River but, are bound by the river and a levee.

L.A. stumpjumper
03-23-2006, 06:42 PM
A lot of lakes along the Missisippi River are borrow pits, where dirt was removed to build the levee.

fishingpox
03-24-2006, 12:18 AM
I know some of those are bar pits. Some I have fished are a mile or so away from levees and are not man made. I guess pappy's definition is the best way to determine an oxbow.

CrappiePappy
03-24-2006, 10:24 AM
I know some of those are bar pits. Some I have fished are a mile or so away from levees and are not man made. I guess pappy's definition is the best way to determine an oxbow.

my post shows how oxbows were "formed". And I've never been on an oxbow lake ......... but, couldn't the flooding of the river account for changing the shape of an oxbow ?? It would seem that, over time & multiple floodings, the "ends" of the oxbows could be silted in or even washed out ... changing the actual shape from a U to a ) or even a __ shape :eek:
I know that oxbows are replenished with fish, from subsequent floodings ... why wouldn't it also be possible for the flooding to be able to change the shape of the oxbow, over time :confused: ........... cp :cool:

jlawhorn
03-24-2006, 11:48 AM
An oxbow can be any shape but all share the characteristic of once having been part of the river channel itself. Most are still accessible from the river when it reaches a certain level. Some here in the delta have been forever cutoff from river replinishment be the MS river levee system. Barrow pits or bar pits as we call them are distiquishable due to the fact that they will be in very close proximity(within sight) to the levee itself and usually small 1 to say 10 acres. a quick look at a terra server or google earth will show you just how many oxbows are close to the river. Some oxbows such as the Tunica Cutoff where made by the corp in the 40's when the river was staightened for flood control, in order to speed up the river allowing for more water to flow. Oxbows provide excellent fishing due to the fact that they are restocked naturally through the rivers flood cycle. Just like any other lakes big river crappie will move into these waters during the spawn to find still and shallow water.

crappie ranger
03-24-2006, 12:47 PM
Some of the big and old oxbow lakes on the KY side of the ms river were left after the earthquake changed the river. Not many of these left due to silt runoff. We also have sloughs which are as big as some lakes in the spring. Just thought I would throw my 2 cents in. I grew up on the river and loved fishing these.

Pooch
03-24-2006, 09:45 PM
Does an ox bow lake necessarily have to be U- shaped? I fish some oxbows and hear guys called them that but, I know for a fact somes of these lakes run due east and west or north and south, though , however, they are in close proximity of the Mississippi River but, are bound by the river and a levee.


Down here in God's country, we call those long semistraight lakes sloughs. Yes, they too are formed from the river changing course over the years. If you look at an aerial photo of the old floodplains you can easily see how the river has changed course over time and left oxbows and sloughs all over. We are blessed and cursed with many of these in Louisiana.

mudwitch
03-24-2006, 10:47 PM
Mark Twain wrote that during a storm, it was not uncommon to go to sleep in Tennessee , and wake up in Missouri(after the river changed course).

FW227
03-25-2006, 10:31 PM
but, couldn't the flooding of the river account for changing the shape of an oxbow

Yep. The river will deposit silt in the ends of the oxbow and that is how some of the oldest oxbows are completely cut off from the river. Some of the younger ones will still be touching the river and will rise and fall (like Tunica) with the river.

I have about 35 oxbows in my county off of the Coldwater and Tallahatchie rivers. Most all are "U" shaped and about half of them still take in river water and rise and fall accordingly. But some are so old that they are quite some distance from the existing river channel and a few of them don't even look "U" shaped anymore. But when you walk around them and look on a topo map, you can clearly see the old riverbank and the difference in elevations.

http://www.fowlmood.com/files/11_Oxbow_Cutoff.jpg
You can see in this photo the newest oxbows (made by the Corps of Engineers back in the 30's and 40's as they straightened the river for flood control and drainage). They rise and fall with the river as you can see by the color of the water (chocolate, muddy water). The older ones (darker, clearer water) were made naturally as the river changed course and the old channel has silted in. Even one doesn't resemble much of a "U" shape anymore, but you can still see a slight curve in some parts of the lake. I like that "triple" oxbow on the upper right!

I do believe that Lake Chicot in Arkansas is the largest oxbow in the US, FYI.

crappiencali
03-26-2006, 02:29 PM
Thanks for all the info guys appreciate it.

gcromer
03-26-2006, 03:30 PM
Here's one in our area.
Gerald K4NHN
Cayce, SC